How to heal Plantar Fasciitis (Heel and Foot Pain)

Heel pain is medically known as Plantar Fasciitis but other terms are used such as; Heel Spur, Policeman’s Heel or Runner’s Heel. We now know that chronic Plantar Fasciitis is mainly a degenerative process (worn or broken down) in nature.

There is rarely any inflammation present in the involved tissues which is why treatments that focus on trying to reduce inflammation have little long term effect.  The problem is that most treatments (cold packs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and steroid injections) have not kept pace with the latest research on the said nature of this condition.  By definition, the suffix “itis” means inflammation.  This is where the confusion lies and the terms Plantar Fasciopathy or Fasciosis are now more commonly used.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Exercising on a different surface – for example, running on the road instead of a track.

If you have been wearing shoes with poor cushioning or poor arch support such as Flip Flops on holiday.

If there is overuse or sudden stretching of your sole as increased running intensity or distance.

If you have a tight Achilles tendon (the large tendon at the bottom of your calf muscle). This can affect your ability to flex your ankle and make you more likely to damage your plantar fascia.

Often there is no apparent cause for plantar fasciitis, particularly in older people. A common belief is that the pain is due to a bony growth or ‘spur’ coming from the heel bone (calcaneum). Many people have a bony spur but not everyone with this gets plantar fasciitis.

Common Symptoms:

The pain is usually centered on the underside of the heel but can change with time

Pain is often worst when you take your first steps on getting up in the morning, or after long periods of rest where no weight is placed on your foot.

Gentle exercise may ease things a little as the day goes by, but a long walk or being on your feet for a long time often makes the pain worse.

Resting your foot usually eases the pain but it may continue to throb if you have been on your feet for a while.

How can the Abbeyfields help your Plantar Fasciitis?

At Abbeyfields we use different approaches dependent on how long you’ve had your foot/heel pain for. In acute cases we use combined hands-on technique, medical acupuncture and orthotic prescription.  In chronic cases (more than six months) we now use the latest technology – Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy.  This works by creating a new healing response in the tissue, promoting the growth of new blood vessels and inhibiting sensitive pain nerves.  The latest research suggests this works well for over 80% of patients and only needs three treatments over a three week period.

NICE (National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence) recommend this treatment providing Clinics audit their results.  Our Clinic is registered with the ASSERT protocol which is a nationally recognised database of audited clinicians.

As a result of our investment in specialist equipment and our unique Integrated approach (Podiatric Foot Surgeon, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy) we now see patients from across Cambridge & Newmarket through to Ipswich, Sudbury and Thetford.

Published Evidence

Find out more how we can help heal your heel and foot pain

Find out more about how we can help your heel and foot pain or for more information about Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy. Contact us on 01284 847884 or use our online contact form.

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