Could your heal pain be Plantar Fascilitis?

Could your heal pain be Plantar Fascilitis?

7th October 2019

Caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, it is a fibrous sheet in the sole of your foot which helps maintain the arch. Mr Sajid Shariff, Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon at Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Hospital, talks about the common condition of Plantar Fascilitis.

Symptoms include heel pain (sometimes intermittent) which is usually worse in the morning, after periods of prolonged sitting or at the onset of sporting activity. The pain is often described as a nail being driven into the heel or a burning sensation. Pain may also occur in the mid part of the foot.

Common causes of Plantar Fascilitis

  • Constant stress from walking
  • Recent weight gain
  • Tightness of the Achilles tendon
  • Unsuitable footwear
  • Change in activity - e.g. increasing mileage when running, running on different surfaces or walking on hard surfaces e.g. concrete floors.
  • Rheumatic conditions - if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis you may be prone to inflammation anywhere a ligament is attached to a bone. Plantar fasciitis may be part of the general condition.
  • High arched (cavus) or flat feet - if you have high arched feet you are more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis as you are less likely to absorb the stresses of walking.
  • Heel spurs – occasionally extra bone forms producing a small bony prominence. Many people have a bony spur on the heel bone, but this is not the cause of the pain. Bony spurs may be more common in those with plantar fasciitis, but are not a cause.

Treatments for Plantar Fascilitis

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Appropriate footwear - Use shoes with extra cushioning e.g. running trainers.
  • Orthotic devices - Arch supports or heel cushions.
  • Stretching of the Achilles tendon (physio)
  • Night splints
  • Cast application (occasionally).
  • Steroid injection (rarely).

Over 98% of patients will have resolution of their symptoms, which can take up to 18 months. Surgery is rarely required and as with any surgery there are associated risks & possible complications.

Mr Shariff, has regular clinics at Nuffield Helath Tunbridge wells Hospital.

To find out more please visit their website www.nuffieldhealth.com , call  01892 888199 or email tu_custenq@nuffieldhealth.com.

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