Plantar fasciitis affects about 1 out of 10 people at some point in their lives and is the most common cause of heel pain. If you feel a strong pain at the base of your heel in the first few steps after waking up in the morning, you may have plantar fasciitis. Although it commonly occurs in only one foot, sometimes both feet can be afflicted simultaneously.
DTAP provides diagnosis, treatment and managing Joint Pain related problems.
Cause and Anatomy
Like a bowstring, the plantar fascia is constructed to take in the immense strains and stresses on the foot. However, should the pressure be too high, meniscus tears can result in the fascia and thus swelling. The condition can last for many months without improvement as micro-tearing of the fascia may be repeated whenever one walks.
The plantar fascia is a fibroid band of ligament that is right under the skin on the base of the foot. It links the heel to the head of the foot and aids to buttress the arch of the foot.
Causes that may result in a higher probability of plantar fasciitis include:
- Higher intensity or new physical activities that the body is yet to accustom for
- Excess stress on the plantar fascia due to overweight issues
- Age. People between the age of 40-60
- Recurring strenuous exercises such as marathons or marathon trainings
- Heightened stress on the plantar fascia as a result of abnormal foot mechanics such as a high foot arch, flat feet, or crooked steps
- Jobs that need extended hours of walking or standing
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR) scan or X-ray might be necessary to establish that the pain is not due to another problem such as nerve impingement or stress fracture. Your doctor can diagnose plantar fasciitis through a thorough history and physical examination of the affected foot.
- Pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed overnight or after a long period of inactivity. After a few minutes of walking, the pain subsides
- Activity or exercise leading to more pain
- Intense pain near the heel, at the base of the foot
Treatments will depend on the diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis:
- Medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and paracetamol for pain relief can be used.
- Splinting. Securing a splint at night to stretch the arch of the foot and calf muscle during sleep.
- Orthotics. Arch supports to even out the weight distribution in the foot can be worn.
- Exercises. Mild stretching of the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. It also helps to build up the lower leg muscles.
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). An innocuous method to stimulated healing via sound waves directed at the area of inflammation.
- Surgery. As a last resort, a surgical procedure involving detaching the plantar fascia from the heel bone can be considered.
- Corticosteroid (H&L) injection. A temporary solution of lasting not more than 3 months is the use of Corticosteroid (H&L) injection. The injection helps to reduce inflammation in and around the affected area.
- Rest. Do not engage in taxing activities for several months
Dr. Tan & Partners @Siglap
Joint Pain, Men’s Health & Sexual Health Clinic
Dr. Edwin Ong is currently practising in Men’s Health & Sexual Clinic @Siglap
914 East Coast Road
#01-04 The Domain,
+65 6962 2144
Monday & Friday: 9.00 am – 8.00 pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 10.00 am – 8.00 pm
Wednesday: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Saturday: 9.00 am – 2.00 pm
Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays