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Plantarfasciopathy (plantar heel pain)

Plantar fasciopathy is pain in the soft tissues in the heel and the bottom of the foot. The role of this area is to help keep the arch of the foot in the right place by acting as a shock absorber. Originally called plantar fasciitis, research has shown that thickening and degeneration of the tissues is actually more common than inflammation and so hence the name change. Pain normally starts as a result of wear and tear (degeneration) of the plantar fascia and this can happen as a result of overuse (eg walking more than normal). 

Symptoms include:

  • Heel pain upon first steps in the morning or after long periods of sitting / lying
  • Tenderness to the bottom of your foot near the heel
  • Limited range of movement into dorsiflexion and a tight achilles tendon
  • You may have a limp or prefer to walk on your toes
  • Pain is worst when barefoot
  • Usually brought on after a sudden increase in activity

Risk factors include:

  • Decreased ankle dorsiflexion
  • Having a high arch or being flat-footed
  • Increased foot pronation
  • high impact or weight baring activities over a period of time
  • Improper shoes
  • High BMI
  • Diabetes

The average plantar heel pain symptoms can last longer than 6 months and it affects up to 10-15% of the population but the good news is that 90% of cases are treated successfully with conservative management and don’t require surgery

Speak to one of our physiotherapists today if you think you may be suffering from plantar heel pain. Not only can conventional physiotherapy help you, but we also offer Extracorpeal shockwave therapy – a new and effective treatment for tendinopathies.