Plantar Fasciitis Explained
Plantar Fasciitis simply means "Heel Pain" in latin. However when it comes to Heel pain, and plantar fasciitis treatment and diagnosis…all is not what it seems…
Despite popular belief, even amongst some health professionals, most heel pain is NOT plantar fasciitis and this condition is very commonly misdiagnosed and poorly explained, resulting in heel pain treatment often being ineffective and inappropriate.
Have you been told you have Plantar Fasciitis? How do you know it is an accurate diagnosis and not just guesswork?
Plantar fasciitis is a term often loosely bandied around by health professionals without evidence and this can be confusing.
Most of what you read and are told about your heel pain and plantar fasciitis is not accurate… not even close. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition but most heel pain is NOT inflammatory in nature and therefore is NOT Plantar Fasciitis. In fact, the term Plantar Fasciitis used correctly in this context is actually plantar fasciosis (failed regeneration of the connective tissues), this may cause some inflammation but the principal condition, or underlying cause is degeneration, so inflammation is NOT what needs to be treated, degeneration of the tissues is.
Most heel pain occurs when the plantar fascia (connective tissues running along the bottom of the foot), becomes overloaded, resulting in degeneration of tissues. During weight bearing activity the fascia can be strained and repeatedly pull on the heel bone, often leading to the formation of a heel spur. However, the spur itself rarely causes pain, it’s the degeneration of the surrounding plantar fascia or soft tissue that does. This is why an accurate diagnosis is Plantar Fasciosis, not Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs. One is degenerative, the other inflammatory in nature, so they need to be treated very differently, and therefore must be diagnosed properly.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
The important thing here is that the most commonly prescribed treatment for this condition, anti-inflammatory medication (known as NSAIDS) and cortisone treatments SHOULD NOT BE UTILISED! These treatments do not and never will fix it this type of concern. Instead, they may prolong the injury and increase the risk of further tissue damage.
Be weary of out-dated advice relating to heel pain, which is often indicated when people use terms such as "inflammation, cortisone, gel heel cups, calf stretching, arch supports (prescription orthotics are different), realignment and pronation, in relation to these". Such terms in relation to these conditions can provide clues as to the questionable quality of the advice.
Plantar fasciosis, often diagnosed as plantar fasciitis, is characterized by a sharp stabbing pain at the bottom or front of the heel bone, particularly when first arising in the morning or after resting, which can subside to a dull ache. Pain often subsides within 5 to 10 minutes, only to return later in the day. It is often worse when pushing off of the heel (thopulsive phase of gait) and after periods of rest. Acute, severe heel pain, especially with mild local puffiness, may indicate an acute fascial tear. It may also accompany a burning or sticking pain when walking
Other terms used to describe this concern include; calcaneal enthesopathy pain or calcaneal spur syndrome.
Causes of plantar fasciosis / plantar fasciitis Include repetitive weight bearing tissue stress of the fascia as a result of environmental factors and foot function
Treatment for plantar fasciitis or plantar fasciosis can include: Assisting foot function with prescription orthotics; improving tissue repair; managing faulty foot and leg biomechanics; assisting weight distribution throughout the foot and ankle through movement; improving tissue condition and strength with targeted exercise; assessing and managing any nerve impingements; advice on shoes with appropriate heel elevation.
The cause of your heel pain can be very specifically diagnosed and treated. Kick-starting the tissue repair process whilst reducing the strain on the fascia is the proven clinical medical protocol to resolve heel pain. So if you've had the experience of being given an insole, a gel heel pad, stretches, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections or an orthotic that didn't work, don't be disheartened, it could very well be just a matter of better advice from someone that keeps up-to-date with the very latest medical research and treatments related to heel pain, plantar fasciitis / plantar fasciosis, and excels in diagnostics.
Foot and Leg pain Clinics are recommended as leading plantar fasciitis treatment practitioners by GP's, allied health professionals, surgeons, specialists and thousands of satisfied patients whom we’ve been able to assist with successful heel pain treatment plans (plantar fasciitis treatment plans).
If you have heel pain or have been told you have plantar fasciitis and would like to learn how to get better, make an appointment today.