Hi! I'm Ros Miller, an orthopaedic surgeon and foot/ankle specialist at the London Orthopaedic Centre.
It starts out innocently enough. You might feel as if there is a small lump in the heel of your sock - an increasingly annoying "thick-feeling" sensation under the heel. The usual place to experience this pain is at the front of the heel, towards the soft sole of the foot.
Generally pain will be most pronounced early in the morning when you first get up or after being inactive (sitting/lying down) for a long period of time. This pain tends to subside once you are up and about. On the flipside though pain may recur if you are on your feet for a long time during the day - an unavoidable part of some jobs unfortunately!
Another telltale sign is pain that kicks in after engaging in certain exercises like running. Generally pain will accompany the beginning of the exercise and then fade as you continue to exercise.
Pain when climbing the stairs (or standing up on your toes) is also a sign associated with plantar fasciitis.
Later the early-morning pain might start reaching further and further into your day. The small lump in your sock might feel like a solid rock that you can never get out of your shoe.
In its most advanced stages plantar fasciitis has been described as a hot nail being pressed into the sole of the foot. At this stage just walking about in order to complete daily activities becomes a chore. There's often pain in the foot even when you are not standing or walking.
Progression can also lead to additional complications. Because of the pain in your heel it's natural to change foot and ankle posture when walking. Changes in posture and gait to relieve the pain can lead to foot, ankle, leg, hip and back problems.
One common foot complication is a heel spur, a calcium deposit that builds and causes a bony protusion on the heel.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so keep reading to learn more about plantar fasciitis, its causes and treatments. I'll be going through what you can do to get rid of plantar fasciitis and make sure it doesn't return.
If you are at the early stages make sure your plantar fasciitis doesn't progress!
Below we'll go through the causes and treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by repetitive small injuries and tears to the fascia in your foot. Over time these small rips and tears compromise the fascia and develops into plantar fasciitis
The fascia is a band of connective tissue under the skin that binds the muscles of the body together. These fibrous connective tissues help our muscles "bounce" and deal with the impacts of daily life - surrounding and cushioning the muscles from exterior shock.
When working correctly the plantar fascia (the fascia around your heel) acts like suspension: a shock absorber in the foot. Each time your foot lands the plantar fascia bows back and absorbs the impact. If tension is too great though the plantar fascia can tear. Repetitive small tears and inadequate rest can lead to plantar fasciitis.
Very often plantar fasciitis becomes a chronic, recurring problem. It can often take a year for full recovery (shorter with the correct treatments) but if full recovery is not achieved before re-stressing the plant fascia it is possible to trigger the condition again and again, turning it into a lifelong complaint.
The immediate goals of treatment for plantar fasciitis are:
With the correct treatment most people recover completely within the year. 95% of sufferers can achieve this without surgery.
Early treatment = fast recovery - because of the progressive tearing of the plantar fascia it is important to seek treatment early!
These basic methods can help stop plantar fasciitis from developing. If pain in the heel continues seek medical advice.
Rest! Limit or stop the activities that cause you heel pain.
Reduce inflammation using ice and an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen.
Wear shoe inserts that cushion your heel and wear your shoes as soon as you get up in the morning
If plantar fasciitis progresses further then the advanced treatment options include:
Dr Ros Miller is the First Female Foot and Ankle Surgeon in the Harley Street Area.
She is a fully qualified Orthopaedic Surgeon with Specialist Registration with the General Medical Council. She is a Consultant with more than five years standing, specialising solely in conditions affecting the Foot and Ankle.
Miss Ros Miller provides cutting edge Minimally Invasive and Arthroscopic Foot and Ankle Surgery for sportsmen and women, stabilising joints and rehabilitating soft tissue ligaments and tendons more rapidly providing a quicker return to training.
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