So, what can a podiatrist do for my plantar fasciitis?
Posted on 14th June 2017 at 10:37
A podiatrist is a lower limb specialist and has, you will be glad to know, a plethora or treatments in their armoury.
In your first appointment, they will check if you have been wearing good footwear and had a go at stretching.
They will take a history and decide if your plantar fasciitis is acute or chronic.
Acute plantar fasciitis responds well to a treatment called low-dye strapping. This sports strapping supports the foot and allows you to go about your daily business and wear ordinary shoes. It lasts several days and can help reduce inflammation and get you over a ‘hump’ in your recovery. Low-dye strapping is also a good indicator of how you would respond to orthotic therapy. Sometime the strapping needs to be repeated weekly to get the best recovery.
We podiatrists are nosey and won’t be happy just waving you off after a bit of strapping.
If there are indications that the condition is caused by how you are walking/ running then we will want to have a look at this to prevent relapse. Perhaps this is the zillionth time you have had plantar fasciitis or it has been a low-grade problem for a long time. Some people will have a root cause and if this can be addressed you will be forever grateful.
This may be a more rigorous stretching programme or/and insoles or bespoke orthoses.
The images to the right show the plantar fascia functioning under different arch heights, it is strained in a flat foot and tense in a high arch. Stretching the supporting muscles and supporting the foot with insoles helps create a 'normal' foot, though I rarely see one of these, and reduces the strain.
In stubborn cases treatments such as acupuncture, steroid injections and surgery (last resort by a long shot) can be called on.
Of course, we have not got X-ray vision and symptoms mimicking plantar fasciitis can be caused by other conditions. A podiatrist can realise that a differential diagnosis may be likely as treatment progresses and in such cases, we will refer for further investigations.
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