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Plantar fasciitis

plantar fasciitis

We use the term Plantar fasciitis to describe a type heel pain. Which results from the deterioration of your plantar fascia. However, today we prefer to call it plantar heel pain syndrome or plantar fasciopathy.

Plantar fasciitis symptoms.

Plantar fasciitis is characterised either firstly by initial step pain or secondly by a pain on weight-bearing after rest. It is a very common condition, for instance around 10% of the population will suffer at some point in their lives.

The pain is usually felt anywhere along the bottom of the foot is typically located underneath the heel. As mentioned previously it is worse first thing in the morning or after long periods of rest once the foot starts moving the pain normally decreases. Plantar fasciitis can occur in people of any age but is usually in adults.

Causes

It is usually as a result of a sudden change in the loading of the heel and its associated structures this can be due to:

  • changes in activity
  • poor footwear
  • sports injury
  • imbalance in the muscles of the legs or hips
  • tight calf muscles

Often other structures than just the plantar fascia can be involved such as the nerves or tendons around the inside of the ankle. Furthermore this can often give subtle changes to the type of pain felt in the heel. Your podiatrist will ask you about this during consultation.

Treatments

The specialist podiatrist here at Zest Podiatry will then have a look at the thickness of the plantar fascia and the integrity of the structures around the area using a diagnostic ultrasound imaging. If this confirms the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis then treatment options can be discussed.

These plantar fasciitis treatment options could include:

The Zest team here will take you through the pros and cons of each treatment option so you can make decision that is right for you.

Why shockwave?

shockwave

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ECSWT)

Shockwave therapy is used in the treatment of heel pain and tendon injuries.

The latest research in shockwave reveals it to be as effective for plantar fasciitis as a corticosteroid injection and is very helpful for achilles tendonitis. Its use is supported by the National Institute of Clinical Health and Excellence (NICE).

At Zest we use the best machine on the market the ‘Swiss Dolarclast’. The Swiss Dolarcast is the same type that is used in the NICE research. The machine sends waves of pressure into the tissue encouraging it to heal.

Why does it work?

The machine sends shockwaves from a compressor into a special probe. The probe sends the waves into the damaged area. The waves encourage the damaged tissue to heal at a quicker rate than is normally would.

Does it hurt?

Shockwave is a non-invasive treatment so no skin is broken or damaged. It can be a bit tender during the treatment but this eases in a few seconds.

You can return to normal activity immediately as there is no damage to the area,. We may encourage you to rest and have a cup of tea after.

How many sessions will I need?

We recommend 3 shockwave sessions, a week apart. This gives you the best chance for resolution of pain. Occasionally further sessions are required, although not common we can accommodate this.

How will I know it is better?

Your pain should be gone or much less. But we will have a look with an Ultrasound scanner to see how well the damage tissue is healing.

What is Podiatry?

musculoskeletal

Podiatrists are foot healthcare experts.

They are university trained to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. The College of Podiatry.

Podiatrists (formerly named Chiropodists) are the healthcare professionals responsible for delivering podiatry both in hospital and clinic settings. They study a degree course and are registered with the HCPC (Health Care Professions Council).

They deal with a broad range of conditions that affect the foot and ankle. Treatments include specialist treatments such as swift microwave verrucae therapy, sports podiatry, injection therapy, musculoskeletal and nail surgery.

Foot health provision is available on the NHS to those who long term conditions that affect their feet. Conditions may include Diabetes, Peripheral Arterial Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis (NICE guidelines).

We have 3 full-time and 2 part-time podiatrists who are able to provide general podiatry alongside musculoskeletal. We treat those in pain, have reduced mobility or just want to improve aesthetics. Musculoskeletal podiatry includes the use of ultrasound imaging, injection therapy, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), Run3D and orthoses.

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