There is this thick band of tissue at the bottom of our foot, which we call the ‘plantar fascia’. It runs from our heel bone to our toes. It helps us to walk properly and supports the arch of our foot. Micro-tears, often due to overuse, can occur in this tissue which can gradually develop over time. If the tissue then causes pain, most of the time right under the heel, we call it a ‘plantar fasciitis’. The plantar fascia needs to tolerate quite some load during the day, especially when you walk, run or stand a lot. So, if you’re a runner or have a job that involves you being on your feet a lot, you can be at higher risk. On the contrary, doing too little isn’t what you want either, because the fascia can become less flexible and weaker. Also, being overweight can put extra pressure on the fascia and put you at higher risk for this injury.
The most common symptom is pain and/or stiffness at the bottom of the heel and/or arch of the foot. The most severe pain is often during the first few steps after a longer period of sitting or sleeping. Plantar fasciitis can be a stubborn complaint and challenging to treat. Existing treatment options, which include stretching and loading exercises of the tissue, can be very helpful, but unfortunately sometimes fail and pain persists.
Shockwave Therapy (SWT) is a more recent treatment option that can be very helpful if you’ve been experiencing heel pain for a period of months. Evidence is hopeful that, alongside loading exercises of the tissue, Shockwave can speed up your healing process. We can now offer Shockwave Therapy as an effective treatment option for Plantar Fasiciitis to our clients in South London. It is currently available at our Crystal Palace clinic with physiotherapy specialists, Chris Hall and Justin Walsh. Click for more detail on our SWT treatment and find out how to be referred.
Are you experiencing this injury? Feel free to get in touch with our London based experts to find out what the best treatment is for you, so you can get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Britt Raaijmakers graduated in Physiotherapy in the Netherlands, specialised in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy and has a Masters of Science. She has experience treating a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and specialises in chronic pain. Meet the Team here.