Evaluation of Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

Evaluation of Plantar Fasciitis

An evaluation of plantar fasciitis and the treatment options that are available, is important in order to gain an understanding of the efficacy off all different management options. At the Sydney heel pain clinic, the main conditions that are treated are plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and bursitis. An evaluation of plantar fasciitis is important as it is the most common of all these conditions that the podiatrists treat. Some of the common treatments available are orthotics, shockwave therapy, immobilisation boot, footwear changes, dry needling and strapping.

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that can be debilitating and causes severe pain under the base of the heel. The condition can be excruciating and patients are are often required to modify their lifestyle in order to accommodate it. Commonly, patients will report significant pain after periods of rest. This can be referred to as start up pain and is often noted first thing in the morning when the patient takes their first few steps, or after long periods of being seated. Evaluation of plantar fasciitis patients also commonly reveals the feeling of a stone bruise under the heel or a pebble in the shoe. Furthermore, these patients find that there are often long periods of the day where they are free of any symptoms and are able to walk without any problems. These brief moments of relief are then masked and undermined by the return of the sharp stabbing pain through the base of the heel or the arch of the foot.

Evaluation of Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

Evaluation of Plantar Fasciitis Including Orthotics

An evaluation of plantar fasciitis sufferers who were treated with prescription orthotics was carried out at the Sydney heel pain clinic. It was found that those patients using firm inserts that provided control instead of cushioning responded to treatment within 4 to 6 weeks. It was concluded that soft orthotics allow the foot to compress the material and therefore creates hypermobility around the heel, which causes irritation and prolongs the condition. The evaluation of these plantar fasciitis suffers revealed a significant reduction in start up pain first thing in the morning and after long periods of being seated. The pain in the heel subsided immediately with the orthotics in place, although this did not mean that the condition had healed. The plantar fasciitis symptoms were deemed to have subsided when there was minimal or no pain when walking or when firm finger pressure was applied to the base of the heel, at the attachment of the plantar fascia. The evaluation of the plantar fasciitis first thing in the morning when rising from bed was also used as a “measuring stick”.


Evaluation of Plantar Fasciitis with Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy was applied to patients with plantar heal pain and evaluation of plantar fasciitis symptoms were noted over an 8 week period. Shockwave therapy provides an instant analgesic effect and this was consistent throughout all patients. Commonly there are approximately 5 days of pain relief following the application of the shockwave therapy machine. Please note, that the analgesic effect is merely a positive side effect and is not the main reason for using it. Shockwave therapy is used to stimulate healing by increasing blood flow and the turnover of new collagen cells. Over the period of 4 to 6 weeks, the healing takes place albeit slowly. However it can be proposed that healing is quicker with shockwave therapy than without. Shock wave therapy as a “stand alone” treatment, when no other supportive intervention was applied, proved to be less reliable. This eludes to the fact that the single most important point in the healing of plantar fasciitis still remains to be the support for the plantar fascia itself.

More information on shock wave therapy here: https://sydneyheelpain.com.au/shock-wave-therapy/

Evaluation of Plantar Fasciitis that Includes Calf Muscle Stretching

When an evaluation of plantar fasciitis was made of the variety of treatments for the condition it was found that the heel pain problem improved quicker when calf stretching was included. It can be proposed that the restricted range of ankle joint motion due to tight calf muscles creates a stressful pulling on the heel and that this prolongs the condition. The evaluation of plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis revealed the same beneficial findings that highlights the benefits of these stretching techniques. It should be noted that stretching alone does not provide the same benefits or a faster rate of healing without supportive intervention from the podiatrist. Supportive intervention can be provided via prescription orthotics, strapping techniques and footwear recommendations. Please note: calf stretching can over load the plantar fascia and prolong the condition if not done under instruction of an experienced podiatrist.

Please see the style of orthotics that work the best for plantar fasciitis here on our sister company website: https://www.heelclinic.com.au/

Please note that the above information should not be taken as medical advice and if you need an evaluation of plantar fasciitis or any other of your foot problems then you should consult with a qualified sports podiatrist.


Written by: Karl Lockett, Sports Podiatrist