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How do you treat plantar fasciitis?

foot shot of woman climbing stairs

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is the strong connective tissue that supports the arches of our feet. The fascia acts like ligament which helps in the transfer of force and load with walking.  It is believed that this tissue can become irritated and inflamed resulting in plantar fasciitis.  Individuals usually describe pain with weight bearing, in particular first thing in the morning, or with walking. The symptoms can spontaneously resolve within a few weeks, but sometimes they persist for months.

How do I treat plantar fascia pain?

The good news is all tissues respond to loading – which means exercise or gradual exposure to activity is usually key in resolving the symptoms. Having an understanding of all the different elements that may be contributing to your pain is also key.  Physio’s are good at guiding individuals through this process. Helping them to understand how different factors such as  lifestyle could be potentially prolonging their symptoms and inhibiting their progress.  

Should I have a scan?

Often imaging is not necessary as rehabilitation is the best way to manage the problem.  Scans also regularly show up findings that are not relevant and tend to not alter the treatment program.

Do I need an orthotic?

Sometimes an orthotic in a shoe can provide temporary relief of pain but rarely does it resolve symptoms on its own. Most individuals will not need to use one, but if they do they should only be used on a temporary basis.

What should I do now?

 If you have heel pain and require treatment you can contact the clinic directly to book an assessment. Alternatively if you would just like to discuss your symptoms please call through to the clinic and ask to speak to the physiotherapist. Plantar fascia pain can be very debilitating and if it’s stopping you doing the things that you love then you need to get it better.

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