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What is Plantar Fasciitis in UK


plantar fasciitis UK

Anatomy of Plantar Fasciitis UK


Plantar fasciitis is a common musculoskeletal condition that affects the plantar fascia, a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. This band extends from the heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of the toes and plays a crucial role in supporting the arch of the foot and absorbing shock during walking and running.

 

It accounts for approximately 10% of runner-related injuries and up to 11% -15% of all foot symptoms requiring professional medical care. Plantar fasciitis occurs in about 10% of the general population, with 83% of these patients being active working adults between 25 and 65 years (1).

 

Key Structures Involved:

 

  • Plantar Fascia: This ligament-like structure supports the foot's arch and helps with the foot's natural biomechanics.

 

  • Calcaneus: The heel bone where the plantar fascia originates.

 

  • Metatarsal Heads: The ends of the metatarsal bones where the plantar fascia attaches, near the toes.

 

Physiology of Plantar Fasciitis

 

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia is overstressed and strained, leading to inflammation, micro-tears, and degeneration. This condition is often a result of repetitive stress and overuse, which can be attributed to various factors:

 

  1. Biomechanical Factors: Abnormal foot mechanics, such as flat feet (pes planus) or high arches (pes cavus), can place excessive tension on the plantar fascia.

  2. Overuse: Activities that involve prolonged standing, walking or running, especially on hard surfaces, can overwork the plantar fascia.

  3. Footwear: Inadequate or worn-out shoes that lack proper arch support and cushioning can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.

  4. Body Weight: Excess body weight increases the stress on the plantar fascia during weight-bearing activities.

  5. Age: The risk of plantar fasciitis increases with age, as the fascia loses elasticity and becomes more prone to injury.

  6. Trauma: Injury to the plantar fascia by a fall, or other high loading event can cause the start of plantar fasciitis.


Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:

 

  1. Heel Pain: Sharp pain at the bottom of the heel, particularly noticeable with the first steps in the morning or after periods of rest.

  2. Pain with Activity: Pain may decrease during activity but can worsen after prolonged standing or walking.

  3. Tenderness and Swelling: The affected area may be tender to the touch, and mild swelling may be present.

 

Likely Duration and Prognosis of Plantar Fasciitis

Acute Phase

In the acute phase of plantar fasciitis, symptoms can last from a few weeks to a few months. This phase typically occurs shortly after the initial onset of symptoms and is characterized by sharp heel pain, particularly noticeable with the first steps in the morning or after periods of inactivity.

 

Factors Influencing Recovery in the Acute Phase:

  • Early Intervention: Prompt treatment can significantly reduce the duration of symptoms. Early intervention may include rest, ice application, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen (NSAIDs) and specific stretching and/or strengthening exercises. Our physiotherapists can show you which one’s are most likely to benefit you based on your own presentation and mechanics.

 

  • Activity Modification: Reducing activities that exacerbate symptoms, such as prolonged standing, walking or running on hard surfaces, can facilitate quicker recovery.

 

  • Footwear Adjustments: Wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia and promote healing. This is not always the bigger the support however as having something to high may also just irritate the tissue.

 

With appropriate and timely treatment, many patients experience significant improvement within a few weeks to a few months. Consistent adherence to a treatment plan is crucial during this phase to prevent the condition from progressing to a chronic state.

 

Chronic Phase of Plantar Fasciitis

 

The chronic phase of plantar fasciitis occurs when the condition persists for several months to years. This phase is often the result of delayed treatment or inadequate management of symptoms in the acute phase. Chronic plantar fasciitis is characterized by persistent heel pain that may be less intense but more widespread and longer-lasting.

 

Challenges and Treatment in the Chronic Phase:

 

  • Persistent Inflammation: Chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia can lead to degenerative changes in the tissue, making it more difficult to treat.

 

  • Intensive Treatment: Chronic cases often require more intensive and prolonged treatment. This may include advanced therapies such as:

 

  • Shockwave Therapy: Uses sound waves to stimulate healing in the affected tissue.

 

  • Corticosteroid Injections: To reduce inflammation and pain but there is some debate the effectiveness of this nowadays.

 

  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: Involves injecting a concentration of the patient's own platelets to promote healing. Again, there is growing debate about the effectiveness of this type of treatment.

 

  • Custom Orthotics: Specialized inserts designed to support the arch and alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia.

 

  • Physical Therapy: A comprehensive physical therapy program focusing on stretching, strengthening and manual therapy can help manage symptoms and improve function. This may not just be limited to the foot as hip/bum weakness can also be a factor in adverse loading of the plantar fascia. A good physiotherapist will be able to assess this for you and guide you accordingly.

 

  • Surgical Intervention: In rare cases where conservative treatments fail, surgical intervention may be considered to release the plantar fascia and relieve tension.

 

Prognosis in the Chronic Phase:

 

  • Longer Recovery Period: Recovery in the chronic phase is generally slower and may take several months to years, depending on the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of the treatment plan.

 

  • Functional Improvement: With consistent and appropriate treatment, most patients can achieve significant pain relief and functional improvement, although some residual symptoms may persist.

 

Conclusion

The duration and prognosis of plantar fasciitis depend heavily on the timeliness and appropriateness of treatment. Early intervention in the acute phase can lead to a relatively quick recovery, while delayed or inadequate treatment can result in chronic plantar fasciitis, requiring more intensive and prolonged management. At Team Rehab UK, our expert physiotherapists are dedicated to providing comprehensive and personalized care to help you recover from plantar fasciitis and regain your quality of life.

 

How Physiotherapy Can Help with Plantar Fasciitis

Physiotherapy is a cornerstone in the management and treatment of plantar fasciitis. At Team Rehab UK, our team of expert chartered physiotherapists utilizes a variety of evidence-based approaches to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

 

Treating Plantar Fasciitis with Physiotherapy


Comprehensive Assessment

A thorough assessment by our physiotherapists involves:

 

  • Clinical History: Understanding the onset, duration, and nature of symptoms, as well as identifying potential contributing factors.

 

  • Physical Examination: Evaluating foot biomechanics, range of motion, and areas of tenderness to determine the severity of the condition. We will also look at the leg above the injury as it is not uncommon for the origin of the overloading to be caused by weakness further up the leg.


Did you know that we provide sports massage in northampton?

 

How to treat Plantar Fasciitis

how to treat plantar fasciitis

 

  • Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques to mobilise the foot and ankle joints, reduce muscle tension and improve flexibility of the plantar fascia.

 

  • Exercise Therapy: Tailored exercise programs designed to strengthen the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the foot, enhance flexibility and support the arch. Key exercises include:

 

  • Stretching Exercises: To improve the flexibility of the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles.

 

  • Strengthening Exercises: To build strength in the foot and lower leg muscles, which helps to stabilize the foot and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.

 

  • Orthotics and Footwear Advice: Custom-made orthotic devices can provide additional arch support and cushion, redistributing pressure away from the plantar fascia. Advice on proper footwear that offers good arch support and cushioning is also crucial.

 

  • Modalities: Use of therapeutic modalities such as Shockwave, ice therapy, and electrical stimulation to reduce pain and inflammation.

 

  • Education and Advice: Providing patients with information on activity modification, weight management, and self-care strategies to manage symptoms and prevent recurrence.

 

Why Choose Team Rehab UK?

 

At Team Rehab UK, we are committed to providing top-quality physiotherapy care with a patient centred approach combined with honesty and integrity. Here's why you should trust us with your care:

  • Expertise: Our team comprises highly experienced chartered physiotherapists who have completed over 16,500 sessions.

 

 

  • Modern Facilities: Our new rehabilitation centre in Brixworth, Northamptonshire, is equipped with premium rehabilitation facilities

 

  • Proven Results: We have numerous positive reviews from satisfied patients, showcasing our effective treatments and compassionate care.

 

Conclusion

 

Understanding the anatomy and physiology of plantar fasciitis is crucial for effective management and treatment. At Team Rehab UK, we are dedicated to helping our patients regain function, reduce pain and improve their quality of life. If you are experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact us today to schedule an assessment and start your journey to recovery.

 

Frequently Asked Questions


What is plantar fasciitis UK?

In the UK, plantar fasciitis is recognised as a prevalent condition, particularly among active adults and those who spend long periods standing or walking. The condition is treated similarly across the world, but in the UK, there may be additional emphasis on conservative treatments such as physiotherapy, proper footwear, and home exercises.

 

What is the fastest way to cure plantar fasciitis?

The fastest way to cure plantar fasciitis involves a combination of rest, ice application, stretching exercises, and proper footwear. Early intervention with physiotherapy, including manual therapy and specific exercises, can significantly accelerate recovery. In some cases, advanced treatments such as Shockwave Therapy or custom orthotics may be recommended.


What is the best Skechers shoes for plantar fasciitis?

Skechers offers several models designed to provide excellent arch support and cushioning for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. The Skechers Arch Fit series is particularly recommended, as it features a podiatrist-certified arch support system that helps distribute pressure and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.


How to cure plantar fasciitis in one week?

Curing plantar fasciitis in one week is challenging, but you can significantly reduce pain and promote healing with these steps:

  1. Rest: Avoid activities that cause pain.

  2. Ice: Apply ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes, several times a day.

  3. Stretching: Perform gentle calf and foot stretches.

  4. Footwear: Wear supportive shoes with good arch support and cushioning.

  5. Pain Relief: Use over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

  6. Orthotics: Consider using orthotic insoles or heel cups for added support.

For severe cases, consult a physiotherapist.


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