Heel pain is a common complaint that can stem from various causes, but one common reason is plantar fasciitis. Particularly common in runners and athletes, there are various reasons this painful condition can occur.
Here, we’ll explore why the discomfort you’re experiencing in your heel could be due to Plantar Fasciitis. You’ll learn about its symptoms, causes, and the treatment options available to help you better manage the pain and take steps towards recovery.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, often characterised by a stabbing sensation that typically occurs when you take your first steps in the morning.
The condition involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. Pain usually decreases as you move more, but it may return after long periods of standing, or when you stand up after sitting for a long time.
The plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot. If tension and stress on this bowstring become too great, small tears can develop in the fascia. Repeated stretching and tearing can also cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.
The condition is more common in runners, those who are overweight, and people who wear the wrong type or size of shoes.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is primarily caused by repetitive strain injury to the ligament of the sole of the foot. This strain injury can be a result of excessive running or walking, inadequate foot gear, or from landing after a jump.
People with very flat feet, or very high arches, are more likely to develop the condition. The risk is higher for women and age too plays a role. It is most common in people between 40 and 60 years of age.
Occupations that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces can also contribute to the onset of plantar fasciitis. Finally, a tight Achilles tendon or calf muscles, which attach to the heel, can put extra stress on the plantar fascia.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis with non-surgical methods
Non-surgical treatments are often very effective at treating plantar fasciitis. These include rest, reducing activities that cause heel pain, ice application, and over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce pain and inflammation.
Physical therapy exercises can also help stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendons, and strengthen lower leg muscles, which stabilises your ankle and heel. Orthotics or arch supports for your shoes and night splints that stretch your calf, and the arch of your foot, can also provide relief.
Another non-surgical treatment option is Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MBST). MBST is a non-invasive technology that aims to stimulate the healing process at a cellular level. It can potentially regenerate damaged tissues in the plantar fascia, helping to reduce pain and improve foot function.
This therapy could be especially beneficial for those seeking an alternative to more traditional treatments, or who are trying to avoid surgery. However, it’s important to consult with a professional to determine if MBST is a suitable treatment option for you.
To find out if you’re suitable for MBST for Plantar Fasciitis, book an appointment with MBST London today.