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Plantar fasciitis: Do you have a painful walk?

Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation in the Plantar Fascia in the foot. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The Plantar fascia is a strong, fibrous attachment (much like a ligament) which runs from the heel to the ball of the foot and the toes. It is stretchy like a thick rubber band. The plantar fascia connects the bones in the foot together and forms the arch on the bottom of the foot.

Its happen when the plantar fascia is overused or stretched too far. Damage to the plantar fascia can make it swell. This inflammation makes it painful to walk or to use the foot. Most people experience  in one foot at a time, however, it is possible for it to affect both of the feet at once. If pain is experienced in the heel or the foot, for more than a week, a visit to a healthcare provider is advised.

What are the symptoms of Plantar fasciitis?

The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Heel pain
  • Pain in the arch of the foot
  • Stiffness of the foot
  • Swelling around the heel of the foot
  • A tight Achilles tendon

It is more likely to be these disease if:

  • The pain is worse when starting to walk after sleeping or resting
  • The pain feels better during exercise, but returns after resting
  • It is difficult to raise the toes off the floor when the rest of the foot is flat on the floor
  • A dull constant ache
  • Sharp or stabbing pain when the affected foot is used of pressure is applied on the heel.

Healthcare providers will often diagnose plantar fasciitis by assessing the affected foot for swelling and discussing symptoms with the patient. In some cases, imaging may be utilised to reach a definitive diagnosis of plantar fasciitis. Imaging modalities used to diagnose plantar fasciitis include ultrasound scans and MRI scans.

Fusion healthcare offers private ultrasound scans, including of the feet, to help reach a diagnosis.

What can lead to Plantar fasciitis?

It can be caused by anything that damages or irritates the plantar fascia. Some actions that may do this include:

  • Being on the feet all day, e.g. at work
  • Playing sports
  • Exercising or walking on a hard surface
  • Exercising without stretching or warming up
  • Wearing shoes that do not provide enough support for the feet
  • Walking or standing barefoot for long periods

Some heath conditions may cause or lead to plantar fasciitis. These include:

  • High arch feet
  • Flat feet
  • Obesity (or gaining a lot of weight in a short amount of time)

Additionally, individuals above 40 up until 60 years of age are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.

How long does plantar fasciitis last?

Symptoms of these diseases should start to ease up when treatment of the symptoms start. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for the plantar fascia to heal completely. Recurrence is quite common, so taking measures to prevent further damage to the plantar fascia is important to prevent recurrence.

Treatment for Plantar fasciitis

Individuals often want to alleviate the symptoms of it which may be affecting their everyday lives. Methods are often used to target the pain caused by It.

Most commonly, over the counter measures are often used to help alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Healthcare providers will suggest options available for relieving symptoms and supporting the feet to reduce chances of experiencing plantar fasciitis again. Some of these options include:

  • Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen are often recommended to help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Rest: Taking a break from playing sport or doing the activity that caused the plantar fasciitis if possible
  • Icing the foot: Icing the foot can help to massage the inflammation
  • Wearing supportive shoes: sturdy, well-cushioned shoes should be worn to help support the arch of the foot


Physiotherapy is often facilitated to help patients with plantar fasciitis. Exercises can be done regularly to help ease symptoms. Regular exercise to strengthen the foot and may help to prevent a recurrence. Physiotherapists can help personalise a treatment plan to help ease the symptoms of shoulder tendonitis. Frequent targeted exercises can help improve symptoms while the plantar fascia heals.

Some physiotherapists may recommend cortisone injections in the specific area, which is a good option for targeting pain and inflammation. 

Cortisone injections

An anti-inflammatory pain medication to relieve pain and inflammation can be effective as plantar fasciitis is from the inflammation of the plantar fascia. A healthcare provider may recommend an injection of cortisone with lidocaine into the attachment of the plantar fascia. Ultrasound is used to pinpoint the best place for the injection and a mix of anaesthetic and cortisone is injected. The anaesthetic provides immediate relief until the cortisone has time to work. If you receive an injection, do not use the shoulder for vigorous activities for about two weeks.

Many physios may recommend a cortisone injection in conjunction with physiotherapy exercises to help speed up the process, or if the physiotherapy alone is not having much of an effect. Cortisone injections can be had up to 3-4 times a year in the same area, depending on the affected area. The injection helps to reduce inflammation in the heel and effects can last for several months.

Fusion healthcare offers private cortisone injections for plantar fasciitis.

Can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Prevention is often easier than treatment. Actively taking measures to prevent the development of it can have positive effects.

Some measures, individuals hoping to prevent plantar fasciitis might take, include:

  • Stretching before and after exercise
  • Wearing supportive shoes or orthopaedic inserts
  • Allowing the feet time to rest and recover following intense activity or exercise
  • Avoid walking on hard surfaces when barefoot
  • Replacing trainers every year (when used regularly, i.e. running over 400 miles in them)