Experiencing Heel Pain? It Can Be Plantar Fasciitis

Do you feel a sharp pain under the heel when you take your first step in the morning? You could be suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis or heel pain is a very common foot complaint, reported by thousands of Australians per day, especially in Perth. Here you will be getting a detailed explanation of the causes, symptoms and treatments for the condition.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a Latin term. It means inflammation of the plantar fascia. The thick, fibrous ligaments that run from heel bone to the toes are called plantar fascia. They function as a natural shock-absorbing mechanism. Unlike the muscle tissue, plantar fascia is not that elastic and therefore, stretches and elongates limitedly. There lies the problem: when too much traction takes place on the plantar fascia (for various reasons), micro-tearing occurs, which results in inflammation and pain. The professional field which deals with such problems is known as podiatry.

What are the symptoms?
Heel pain is generally experienced at the centre of the underside heel. During a rest position, the muscles and ligaments tend to tighten and shorten up. The tightening means, more traction on the ligament and making the tissue more sensitive. When all of a sudden, weight is taken by the tissue, it becomes traumatised, resulting in pain.

Sometimes, after walking for a while the ligament warms up and becomes a bit flexible, adapting itself against the weight. It results in minimisation of the pain completely or severe maximisation.

To prevent the sudden pain, it is important to give the feet a little warm-up exercise. Barefoot walking should be avoided, especially for the first time in the morning. General symptoms may include mild swelling under the heel. In addition, the heel pain often gets associated with tightness in the calf muscles. It is also recommended, not to wear unsupportive footwear like high heels or Cuban shoes. Other symptoms include weight gain and over-usage during sports activity.

What are the treatments?
Myofascial therapy, strapping, low level laser therapy and orthotics can be very effective treatment for heel pain. However, orthotics can prove to be the most advantageous. The devices used in the treatment are called orthoses. These orthoses are actually orthotic insoles which are placed under the heels to support the arches and re-align the ankles & lower legs. The insoles reduce the tension and overwork of the plantar fascia, which allows the inflamed tissue to heal.

To reduce your pain through orthoses or any other podiatry service, contact a podiatrist in Perth as they are the most qualified professional to heal the ailment.