Plantar Fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition that affects the heel and occasionally the arch of the foot. It is caused by inflammation of a thick fibrous band that runs from the undersurface of the heel bone towards the toes.

Plantar Fasciitis can be associated with an abnormal foot posture, such as flat feet and high arches. It can also occur following direct or repetitive injury.

The most common symptom is pain in the heel as it contacts the floor during walking or running. It is often worst first thing in the morning but may get better once the foot ‘warms up’. It can also worsen later in the day and after resting.

How does shockwave therapy work to treat Plantar Fasciitis?

The treatment works by initiating an inflammation-like condition in the area that is being treated. The body responds by increasing the blood supply and metabolism in the treated area which in turn accelerates the natural healing process. For further information on this, click here.

What other treatments are available for plantar fasciitis?

Other treatments include orthotics (insoles), biomechanical assessment, cushioned heel pads, activity modification and physiotherapy stretches to stretch both the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. Occasional use of anti-inflammatory tablets or injections may be needed to help with symptom control. Surgical release of the plantar fascia is reserved for the most resistant cases and is used very rarely.

Are any other treatments required during shockwave therapy?

We will usually recommend stretching of the achilles tendon and plantar fascia during and after the treatment. We will arrange referral for physiotherapy, which will include a number of supervised sessions of physiotherapy, followed by home exercises.

Because of the nature of the shockwave therapy, we recommend avoiding the use of anti-inflammatory medication and icing of the treated area. Paracetamol with codeine may be used if pain is a problem.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis