Heel and Arch Pain
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common running injuries seen in podiatric practice, and anyone who is on his or her feet a lot may also get this injury, such as nurses, teachers, hairdressers and shopkeepers.What happens is, for various reasons, the ligament under the foot (in the arch) called the plantar fascia gets strained or traumatised and becomes inflamed. This hurts under the heel or in the arch area of the foot.
The repetitive nature of long distance running, long standing, and excessive foot pronation (rolling in) may be major causes of this injury. There are also other causes that need identifying and managing.
Long term a heel spur, which is a bony outgrowth under the heel, may develop in response to the excessive pull on the plantar fascia. This bony growth is of no major clinical significance in terms of treatment.
Your self-treatment is very important. Rest for a while to let the inflammation reduce. This is something runner’s do not like doing but it is important to help the injury get better by reducing the stress on the feet. While resting do some cross training to keep the fitness levels up and to keep you from getting depressed.
Ice the area for 10 mins a few times a day. Rub some gel such as arnica into the area after you shower or bath.
Get some physiotherapy done to the area.
The usual anti-inflammatory tabs may make the pain feel better but doesn’t really cure the injury.
Make sure your running shoes are in good shape and not old and collapsed. Also make sure that they are the correct biomechanical type for you.
I find adding some arch support or an orthotic into the shoe will help reduce the tensile stress on the fascial band, which helps healing. This would also control the excessive pronation that could be a cause of the tension.
Sleeping with a night splint that keeps your foot in a stretched position may also help.
A similar and related injury, called bruised heel syndrome, can also occur and feel like plantar fasciitis. The treatment of bruised heel syndrome is essentially the same as for plantar fasciitis.
This information and / advice is the opinion of the author in his capacity as a qualified and registered podiatrist.
The information and advice is meant as a guide only and is intended to be easily understandable to the lay person. This in not a scientific article in any way.
Anyone seeking health and/or medical advice is strongly advised to consult a qualified professional of their choice. If you have any specific questions about any podiatric or medical matter or are in need of treatment you should consult your podiatrist, doctor, or other professional health care provider.