The term Plantar Fasciitis is often used as an umbrella diagnosis to cover all sorts of types of heel pain.
The Plantar Fascia is a band of tough fibrous ‘ligament-like’ material that runs from the base of your heel to the underside of all your toes.
The suffix ‘itis’ means a structure is inflammed.
A true plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band itself , usually on the tightest side between the heel and the big toe.
Heel pain itself can be a complex mixture of injury to different structures around the heel and ankle, involving much more than just the plantar fascia.
When treating heel pain problems it is crucial to carefully examine and test to identify the specific causes of your individual heel pain.
We often see patients who have been diagnosed as suffering with “plantar fasciitis” by practitioners who have not even examined their feet!
It is essential to achieve an accurate picture of what structures are actually causing your pain, to ensure we are using the best treatment for your particular heel pain problem.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is an entrapment of nerves around the middle side of your ankle, that can mimic plantar fasciitis. This condition needs a different treatment approach to a classic case of plantar fasciitis.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome often occurs to a greater or lesser extent alongside cases of tibialis posterior tenditintis / tendinosis. The tibialis posterior tendon is one of the most important structures the holds up the arch of your foot, and in cases of flatter feet can be overworked and injured.
Plantar nerve entrapment, is a condition where deep nerves within the fatty pad of the heel can become irritated and will also mimic or exacerbate plantar fasciitis.
Good examination technique and the right choice of tests, can help us to better understand your individual injury, getting you on the road to recovery sooner.
Call us now to discuss your problems with one of our podiatrists before making an appointment.