Plantar Faciitis - How Your Podiatrist Can Help

Posted on: 27 January 2016

Plantar fasciitis is painful foot condition that can become chronic if not treated promptly by a qualified podiatrist.  Read on to find out how a podiatrist could help you to relieve the discomfort of this debilitating condition.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition caused by the inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the sole of your foot from your heel bone to your toes.  Sufferers of this condition suffer burning or stabbing pain in their feet, usually after periods of inactivity. 

If you experience sudden pain in the soles of your feet, consult your doctor as a first course of action.  If plantar fasciitis is suspected, your doctor will refer you to a podiatrist for treatment and management of the condition.

Common causes of plantar fasciitis include;

  • excessive overload on the feet during prolonged exercise, such as running long distances or climbing stairs
  • wearing poorly-fitting shoes or wearing shoes with high heels on a regular basis for long periods of time
  • recent weight gain
  • trauma or injury to the feet
  • genetic predisposition to flat feet
  • arthritis
  • standing for long periods of time, for example while working in a shop

How can your podiatrist help?

Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is usually made via ultrasound and sometimes by using x-rays.  Once diagnosed, your podiatrist may recommend one or more of the following treatments, depending on the severity of your condition;

  • icing of the feet with an ice-pack or ice bath following exercise
  • taking anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation and relieve pain  
  • changing your footwear to comfortable trainers or cushion-soled shoes until the condition stabilises  
  • avoiding activities that could aggravate the condition, such as running or standing for long periods  
  • taping the feet (your podiatrist will do this for you)  
  • wearing special orthotic shoe insoles to relieve pressure on your heels and to correct abnormal walking patterns  
  • gentle massage and stretching exercises  
  • Cortisone injections to relieve inflammation in the feet

Plantar fasciitis can be slow to subside depending on the severity of the condition.  Don't be in too much of a hurry to get back into your training regime; your podiatrist will guide you as to when you should resume normal activity. 

In conclusion

Plantar fasciitis is a painful and debilitating condition that can become chronic if not treated promptly and appropriately.  Always consult an experienced podiatrist for more advice and to commence an effective course of treatment.