What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is a term used to describe pain in the heel, especially on the instep of the foot. This is not a single diagnosis, but can be one of many diagnoses.

Plantar fasciitis is not well understood. We know what is associated with it, and what treatments are effective, but we do not understand what some of the causes are.

Typically, patients describe that they are unable to put their heels to the ground on waking. They hobble for half an hour and the stiffness gradually improves. As the day passes, they feel increasing pain in the heel.

The pain may be due to tightness in the calf muscle, which is continuous with the tissue in the heel. Another cause is loss of elasticity of the tissue under the heel bone. Normally, this acts as a shock absorber, but with age can lose it’s function. This means that the weight of the body through the heel may be concentrated in a small area, and this high pressure causes pain. Another cause is constriction around small nerves that go into the heel. The pain may be due to a constriction of the main nerve that goes around the inside of the heel bone. The pain may not be related to the heel, but may arise from a nearby joint. Only through close questioning and examination can the most likely cause be found.

Commonly, patients are told that this pain is due a heel spur. Unfortunately, this is not true.

If you have heel pain, it is best to see an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in foot and ankle surgery. You should have x-rays taken in a standing position - this may demonstrate if there is a bone or joint cause for the pain.

If you have a tight calf you can perform exercises - click HERE for a demonstration

about this condition
what your 
operation involvesPlantar_Fasciitis_Surgery.html
what to expect
after surgeryPlantar_Fibroma_Rehab.html
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