The ‘barefoot’ northern beaches has many delights, but if you have experienced the pain of plantar fasciitis or the infamous joy of a heel spur you will truly value the health & wellness of your feet.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the calcaneus (heel) and extending along the foot towards the toes, creating the tension to create the arch of your foot similar to the road on Sydney Harbour Bridge. If excessive tension occurs along this sinew, micro tears occur or the plantar fascia leading to inflammation known as plantar fasciitis.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is most often associated with activties where there is high impact and running sports in particular. It is even worse still for those that involve toe running rather than heel running styles. Most often diagnosed in people with poor foot biomechanics that stress the plantar fascia. At Chirosports Northern Beaches Dr. Alfie Arcidiacono commonly sees that 'flat feet' or 'weak foot arch control muscles' are common causes of plantar fasciitis. We have found that a multi-faceted Chiropractic care approach helps during the inflammatory phase, provides gentle ankle/foot mobilisation and manipulation to assist poor biomechanics (eg overpronation) or a well designed exercise program to provide strengthening for weak muscles.
What are the Most Common Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Remember we said you'd have a hell of a pain in the ....................heel! You'll typically first notice early plantar fasciitis pain under your heel or in your foot arch in the morning or after waking. Your heel pain will be worse with the first steps and improves with activity as it warms up. Typically we see the 'plantar fascial dance' as you dance around trying to avoid loading your heel with pain, but just can't seem to escape.
How Does Plantar Fasciitis Progress?
As the plantar fasciitis deteriorates over the course of time, the pain may become more frequent. The following guidelines may be a valuable tool to see how you are tracking:
1. No Heel Pain - Normal! 2. Heel pain after exercise. 3. Heel pain before and after exercise. 4. Heel pain before, during and after exercise. 5. Heel pain all the time. Including at rest!
Ultimately, further trauma and delayed healing will result in the formation of calcium (bone) within the plantar fascia. When this occurs adjacent to the heel bone it is known as heel spurs, which have a longer rehabilitation period.
How is Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosed?
Plantar fasciitis is usually diagnosed by your sports chiropractor based on your symptoms, history and clinical examination. After confirming your plantar fasciitis they will investigate why you are likely to be predisposed to plantar fasciitis and develop a treatment plan t