Plantar fasciitis requires immediate and specific treatment
Incorrect diagnosis and treatment will delay or prevent any healing process, and the condition can rapidly become acute and chronic.
Heel Clinic patient data over many years has clinically proven the only long term solution to reverse Plantar fasciitis is to treat the source (root cause), not just symptoms.
The Heel Clinic has specialised in treating foot, ankle and heel pain ailments such as Plantar fasciitis for more than 15 years. Some years ago, after constantly and repeatedly treating this condition, and not much else, on a day to day basis, the Heel Clinic made a breakthrough in their diagnosis and identification of the underlying cause and hence the best treatment for constant heel pain from plantar fasciitis. They began to move away from the commonly used treatments for heel pain that were either less reliable or didn’t work at all. Many of these commonly used and unreliable treatments are still available today but are not available at the Heel Clinic.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis can be described a modern ailment partly brought about by the changes in lifestyle / evolution of surfaces over the last 50-60 years. Day to day surfaces that we walk on are much harder – the workplace, home, shopping centres footpaths, hospitals, schools and even some sporting venues, are concrete. Airport tiles are rock hard and run on for ever. Hence to accommodate, footwear is generally softer and cushioned, lacking support and stability. Add to this the fact that we now live longer, are heavier and far more active. The foot structure cannot evolve quickly enough, hence Plantar Fasciitis is just one manifestation of these changes.
Plantar Fasciitis is the pulling and micro tearing of the large ligament type structure under the foot called the plantar fascia at its insertion point at the heel that causes chronic and acute heel pain. See foot model below.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
Common symptoms for patients are: – heel pain first thing in the morning, aching and throbbing in the evening, pain when standing up after sitting or lying down and severe pain after sport or exercise.
The causes of this inflammation and tearing vary from patient to patient. From the Heel Clinic’s experience in treating over 15,000 patients, age, weight, long periods of time on feet at work, excessive forefoot sports or activity and starting exercise after years of inactivity, appear to be the most common reasons. But it is most certainly a weight-bearing functional problem of the feet and calf muscles.
Under normal conditions the structure of the foot supports body weight, but when that support is compromised (for reasons quoted above), the plantar fascial ligament takes excessive load. After time, (perhaps years) the fascia tears at the attachment point at the heel, hence acute heel pain. Bony spurs can develop as nature’s way of trying to repair itself but are rarely associated with the pain itself.
What is often not understood is that normal daily routine (standing, walking etc.) overloads the fascia. Standing for long periods, sport, exercise are just contributing factors to plantar fasciitis.
The 3 Phases of Plantar Fasciitis – the heel pain can progress through three (3) phases:
1. Dull heel pain due to plantar fasciitis
Dull heel pain usually in one foot ‘feels like a stone bruise’ – develops over 3-4 weeks.
With continued daily routine, activity, sport, work etc., pain from plantar fasciitis intensifies. Heel Pain first thing in the morning, immediately on weight bearing.
After this early period the heel pain can continue to intensify. Patients try anti inflammatories, heel cushions, physiotherapy, acupuncture, arch supports, massage, heat, orthotics, rolling the foot over cans/bottles/golf balls and cortisone. By now most patients have ceased or greatly reduced their activity.
2. Intense heel pain from plantar fasciitis
Intense pain now for probably 6-12 months, mostly all day, still usually consistent in one foot. Most patients have tried a vast array of commonly known plantar fasciitis treatments including multiple cortisone injections and have stopped all exercise, sport and sometimes jobs. This has obvious physical repercussions resulting in depression and negativity. In desperation, patients will try any solution and well meaning advice. Surgery is still being suggested in some quarters as a final solution for plantar fasciitis.
3. Plantar fasciitis pain develops in “good foot”
Plantar fasciitis pain develops in “good foot” due to compensated body load (limping). Secondary pain in knees, hips and lower back due to incorrect foot function and posture are common. Substantial increase in weight from lack of exercise adding to the load.
Heel pain can be acute and time frames of up to 5 years are not unusual. Pain can reduce somewhat as the body adapts, but usually at great personal cost and lifestyle changes. This seems to be between 2 and 5 years. Plantar Fasciitis can intensify as the patient increases time on feet again and returns to activities. This is due to patient’s underlying cause not being addressed. Plantar Fasciitis can persist for many years and can be a condition that comes and goes if not treated properly.
Heel Clinic Treatment
The Clinic’s prime objective is to treat the source of heel pain providing not just short-term relief, but a t long-term solution. This is achieved by the use of the Clinics “Touch and Hold” shoe insert, which is an orthotic designed in a way that does not push upwards against the plantar fascia. Read more (link to home page)
These inserts support and unload the plantar fascia which allows it to heal naturally without medications or injections. The orthotics are not designed using traditional arch support theory which is based on old science (Pressing against the arch to lift it has been shown to addpressureto the plantar fascia which irritates and prolongs the plantar fasciitis)
Using new advanced methods and the most up-to-date technology, the Heel Clinic has successfully treated over 15,000 cases of plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain.
From this assessment the source and the treatment options can be determined.