Plantar heel pain, or plantar fasciitis, a disorder that is characterised by sharp pain in the heel and throughout the bottom of the foot, or the plantar. The pain is worst in the morning with your first few steps, and often feels like a dull ache for the rest of the day too.
Studies show that as many as 10% of people suffer from this disorder at some point in their life, with almost half of them still experiencing pain even 15 years after the onset of the symptoms. This is not necessarily an accurate figure either, considering that misinformation about foot health is widespread, and as much as 80% of all heel pain cases may be due to plantar fasciitis.
While it is often found in conjunction with heel spurs, which are better-known to the layman, their relationship is unclear, and resolving one may not necessarily resolve the other.
Plantar heel pain is often caused by repetitive strain, which makes athletes and dancers more vulnerable to it.
Other causes include:
Solutions for plantar heel pain may vary depending on the patient’s personal circumstances. Your gait, occupation, and daily activities, your unique foot shape and the severity of your case of plantar heel pain will determine what treatment you should opt for. Corticosteroid injections are commonly recommended by forums or non-specialist doctors, but they do not help with curing the disorder in the long run.
You can watch a video of a plantar fasciitis treatment performed by one of our podiatrists on our YouTube channel below.
However, treatments for plantar heel pain should be employed as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. The longer you wait, the less effective treatment will be.
As shown by one of the studies linked above, while laser therapy and extracorporeal shockwave therapy are both highly effective in treating plantar fasciitis, waiting for more than six months to undergo treatment reduces the effectiveness of radial soundwave and extracorporeal shockwave therapy significantly.
What would be the best course of treatment for you? Book a consultation with us and find out. We’re here to help.