Nothing disrupts daily life more than pain; apart from being, well, painful, it prevents us from doing the things we love, or just need to do.
Sore feet can be super annoying, and a little thing called plantar fasciitis is perhaps THE most common cause of foot pain. If you are like 10%1 of the population and have had to endure it, you will clearly remember the difficulty of getting out of bed in the morning and trying to walk to the bathroom.
If you are suffering from it now, then you have probably thought: Plantar fasciitis, does it ever go away?
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the “plantar fascia”, a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It lies directly beneath the skin and supports the arch.
What causes it?
Too much pressure on your feet can damage or tear this ligament; once it has been overstretched, it causes pain in the heel.
Active men and women between the ages of 40-70 are most at risk of developing plantar fasciitis, though it does tend to affect women more than men.
Limb-length discrepancy may also be a contributing factor2, as can joint replacement (eg hip or knee), or simply as a result of the body adapting a compensatory gait because of another injury.
Plantar fasciitis may also arise due to growth issues (eg an imbalance between bone length and muscle flexibility), or due to tight or shortened calf muscles.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:
- Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel.
- Pain associated with the first few steps upon getting out of bed in the morning, or after a long period of rest.
- Greater pain after (not during) exercise.
- Rest – Decreasing or even stopping the activities that cause the pain, is the first place to start. No more pounding the pavements or dancing the night away … instead, consider switching to a low impact exercise such as swimming or cycling.
- Stretching – Plantar fasciitis is aggravated by tight muscles in your legs and feet, so stretching your calves is one of the most effective ways to relieve the pain.
- Supportive footwear – Shoes with thick soles and extra cushioning may help; or your podiatrist may recommend an orthotic support.
- Night splints – These help to stretch the plantar fascia whilst you sleep. It may be a little difficult to get used to at first, but most people report that it helps with relieving the pain.
- Medication – Taking anti-inflammatories may provide temporary relief although it’s not going to help fix the problem.
If the condition doesn’t respond favourably to these conservative measures, and an ultrasound has revealed that there aren’t any tears, modern treatment options include:
- PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Treatment – The patient’s own blood is drawn and the plasma extracted and concentrated. Being rich in the proteins that support cell growth, this formula is then injected into the damaged tissue to promote healing.
- Prolotherapy – A procedure where an irritant solution (usually dextrose) is injected into the problem area, to stimulate the body’s own healing response;
- Surgery – This is usually considered as a last resort, and may be considered if the condition remains for longer than 12 months.
So in answer to your question, plantar fasciitis, does it ever go away? Yes, it can. But like most things, it takes the right treatment – and time!
If you think you may have plantar fasciitis, let us help you here at Trevor Lane Podiatry. Call us on (07) 3207 4736, or book an appointment online today!
- Mahmood, S., Huffman, L. K., & Harris, J. G. (2010). Limb-Length Discrepancy as a Cause of Plantar Fasciitis, Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 100(6), 452-455. Retrieved Oct 28, 2022, from https://japmaonline.org/view/journals/apms/100/6/1000452.xm