How do I fix stabbing heel pain (usually plantar fasciitis)? Our Colac podiatrist explains

Plantar Fasciitis (usually presents as a stabbing heel pain) is the number one reason people self refer to our Colac Podiatry clinic. Current evidence suggests around 7% of the general population will experience this at one point in their lives.

But funnily enough it’s usually not the correct diagnosis!

Plantar Fasciitis refers to inflammation at the attachment of the plantar fascia at the heel bone (calcaneus). This usually lasts up to a week when the inflammation changes start to become more chronic in nature. At this stage the diagnosis will change to Plantar Fasciosis or Fasciopathy. This is worth taking note of as it can change the treatment suggested by your practitioner.

Given that most of our clients will present having had symptoms for over 2 weeks we are usually treating Plantar Fasciosis rather than Fasciitis.

Fixing the problem is about understanding the personal factors that have gone into the problem initially. These could be one or many from the list below;

  • Footwear that is worn out, or too thin under the heel
  • Training on hard, uncompromising surfaces
  • Increasing the amount of steps taken during the day
  • Changing the type of exercise you do
  • Weight gain
  • Weak foot and leg muscles
  • Tight calf and hamstring muscle groups
  • Pronated foot posture

There will likely be others not mentioned here, that will contribute to symptoms developing.

So back to the original question of ‘how do I fix it?’. This will depend on your own unique circumstances but some easy first things to try at home will be;

1. Stretch your calves. Lots.
2. Stretch the plantar fascia by pulling your toes back towards your knees
3. Update your exercise shoes and wear them as much as possible
4. Use a tennis ball (or similar) to massage the arch of your foot
5. Limit high intensity activity. If you love running, try to substitute it with a swim or bike ride instead.

If you’re still experiencing pain after performing all of these 5 simple steps for an entire week then chances are you’ll benefit from a more thorough treatment plan.

If this is you, then give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you get back to 100%!