One of the most common causes of heel pain is ‘plantar fasciitis’. This is the term to describe irritation of the plantar fascia which is a connective tissue that starts at the heel pain and attaches onto the ball of the foot. It’s main purpose is to act as a leaver to walk, run and jump as well as to support the sole of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is common and it affects people who walk, run, jump or stand for long periods. Without treatment, it can take up to a year for it to feel better.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

  • Symptoms include pain in the heel and often on the sole of the foot.
  • Pain in the heel with your first few steps in the morning or when sitting for long periods, which tends to settle down after a few minutes of walking.
  • Pain towards the end of the day after long periods of being on your feet.
  • Pain while running, walking or standing.

Tips you can try at home

  • Rest – Limit weight bearing activities such as walking, running, jumping and standing for long periods. Instead try cycling, swimming, aqua aerobics, floor exercises.
  • Ice 5 times a day for 5 minutes and 10 minutes before going to bed.
  • Take anti-inflammatories. We would highly advise you to consult your GP before taking medication. It is advised to take for no more than 3 weeks.
  • Wearing sturdy shoes. Supportive shoes should be worn at all times when weight bearing.
  • Doing calf stretches. Calf stretches should be done 3 x 30 seconds a day.
  • Wearing a compression sock in the morning for up to 8 hours.

Things you should avoid if you think you may have plantar fasciitis:

  • Walking barefoot.
  • Do not wear flat shoes or floppy shoes, these include ballet flats and thongs.

If your pain does not improve it is advised to come in and see us for treatment.

Vanessa Diep
Podiatrist

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