Heel/Arch Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

How Can We Help?

There can be many different foot types that can be affected by this condition and it can aggravate all areas of the foot including the heel, inner or outer arch and even the ball of the foot. Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and can affect 1 in 10 people sometime throughout their life. It involves the inflammation of the plantar fascia which is a thick band of tissue that stretches along the bottom of your foot, from the heel along the arch. It tends to come on slowly and usually affects just one foot, however it can occur simultaneously in both feet.

Here at Doncaster Foot Clinic, our fully qualified, experienced and HCPC registered podiatrists are on hand to help ease the pressure and pain caused by plantar fasciitis. We can provide you with the most effective advice and treatment and will help support the arch of the foot and resolve foot pain.

What Are the Symptoms?

Plantar Fasciitis causes a stabbing pain in the heel of your foot that occurs with your first steps after rising in the morning. It normally settles down shortly after but can return if you are seated for prolonged periods of the day.

What Causes It?

Plantar fasciitis has many different causes. Repeated micro-tears to the fascia is identified as being the cause of plantar fasciitis although inflammation is thought to have a key role. You are more likely to be at risk injuring your plantar fascia if you:

  • Are overweight as this will result in extra strain over your heel

  • Have a tight Achilles tendon (the large tendon at the bottom of your calf muscles above your heel). This can restrict the flexion in your ankle and put you at higher risk of damaging your plantar fascia.

  • Have flat feet (over-pronate) or a high arch

  • Wear shoes with weak arch supports and thin soles

  • Are in an occupation that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces for long periods

  • Suddenly start exercising or increase the intensity of your exercise too quickly

  • Have one leg that is longer than the other

    How is it Diagnosed?

    Plantar fasciitis can be diagnosed by a podiatrist after an assessment of a person’s presenting history, clinical examination, risk factors.

    What Treatments are Available?

    There are a many treatments that can be used to relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis, these may include:

  • Resting your foot and avoid excessive walking, running or standing

  • Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces

  • Regularly stretching the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, especially before exercise

  • Anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen or painkillers such as paracetamol

  • An ice pack wrapped around the painful area of the foot for 15-20 minutes may help

  • The use of custom orthotics which help reduce pronation of the foot and so reduce the excessive load on the plantar fascia

  • A night splint, this facilitates the stretching of the calf muscles and plantar fascia while sleeping

  • Shockwave treatment

  • Laser treatment

  • Corticosteroid injection in more severe cases where conservative treatment has failed