You have just had your personal best scores for your latest run. You may have been working your whole week in the school canteen, or been at work on your feet for long hours. Or aced that last fitness challenge you dreamed about competing in, and wake up to your first step out of bed in pain. Seems to wear off after five minutes or so, and that’s the last you think about it. But then slowly and progressively the morning pain is at a higher level. You may have a condition called plantar fasciitis. What is it? Well the name does not completely describe the condition, as in many ways it is more of a degeneration and addition of successive micro tears to the plantar fascia. Yes, there is some inflammation, as the oedema or fluid building up is a product of the inflammatory cycle. Often most painful at the heel insertion, but often distributed through the fascia in the arch area or other regions. What can we do?
Some simple home treatments are a great start. A soak in ankle deep bath temperature hot water 39-41 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes can really help with the microcirculation in the damaged tissues. Putting a golf ball on the floor and gently rolling through the painful region can be beneficial in loosening up the injured tissues and helping to reduce some of the oedema in the region. Some gentle massage of the area helps, as does a shoe that is suitably cushioned.
What if the pain will not go away? This is where you really need the in depth assessment by a foot Doctor. We are able to take a full medical history from you, and any necessary vascular and neurological assessment. Then we need to study the physics and biological features that determine the way you walk, or commonly known as a biomechanical assessment. If necessary, I would do a 3D laser scan of your foot and have my laboratory make a digital orthotic to give you a new prescribed position to walk in, so each and every of your 5-20,000 steps a day is putting less strain on your damaged plantar fascia. The accumulation of walking in this new position normally gives us a pain resolution within 4-6 months. If necessary I can strap the foot to rest the plantar fascia for a few days. I am an Endorsed prescriber of scheduled medicines by the Podiatry Board of Australia, part of less than 1.0% of my profession with this higher advanced qualification. I can therefore prescribe prescription only analgesia and anti-inflammatory medicines if required. I am also trained in Sonographic diagnostics and can therefore carry out Ultrasound guided Corticosteroid injections to bring faster relief of pain. Some of the commonly associated adverse effects of corticosteroids are not normally experienced with this procedure, and an anaesthetic block can be done to make the heel injection a pain free procedure. No Doctors referral is required; you just need to book an initial appointment to discuss this option. If the pain is disabling or has been for over 3 months and therefore chronic, this is a very good option to consider. Other treatment options are available, including Advanced musculoskeletal mobilizations of the heel and foot, and Advanced dry needling (Medical acupuncture) treatment programs.
So contact our surgery on (07)40543330, or visit our website 24 hours per day to leave your appointment booking preference, and we will return your message as soon as possible. Have a nice day and thank you for your interest!