Patients with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis will have been suffering with symptoms for more than 2-4 weeks. The symptoms become consistent and the patients are able to see the patterns. Usually, the pain arises every single morning without fail. It is sometimes described as groundhog day – patients know that as soon as their foot hits the ground in the morning they will feel heel pain, which eases after a few minutes of walking. These patients with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis also know that later in the day if they sit down for a long enough period of time they will be sore as soon as they stand up and start walking. Some patients with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis will also experience throbbing and shooting pains at rest – while driving or sitting down.
More often than not, patients with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis will have tight calf muscles. The tight calf muscles pull on the heel and this allows the acute plantar fasciitis to develop into Chronic Plantar Fasciitis. People who stand up at work or walk for long periods will develop Chronic Plantar Fasciitis as there is no rest for the heel.
Flat and flexible shoes that are unsupportive can cause this condition too. They allow too much stress on the foot and the continued strain on the heel produces more and more inflammation. People who stand up at work or walk for long periods can prevent the condition from developing by wearing more supportive shoes. Shoes with a slight heel and a more rigid sole provide more support. If a patient is suffering with acute Plantar Fasciitis and they continue to wear the wrong shoes they are almost certainly going to develop Chronic Plantar Fasciitis.
X rays will show a heel spur and calcification of the Plantar Fascia or Achilles tendon. They rarely show inflammation of the Plantar Fascia. To this end, the X-ray does not help the Podiatrist to help the patient (Heel spurs rarely cause pain). Patients with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis are better off having an ultra sound scan rather than an X-ray. This will help to detect micro tears in the Plantar Fascia in addition to inflammation. The inflammation confirms Chronic Plantar Fasciitis, although a Podiatrist who is experienced in treating the condition will usually be able to diagnose the condition during the consultation.
Frustration sets in as patients with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis have no choice but to give up their morning walks, stop running, avoid tennis or reduce their preferred form of activity. Even the pet dog starts to suffer as he misses out on his daily walks! All of the above situations are extremely common in patients who attend the clinic for Chronic Plantar Fasciitis treatment. This problem is compounded by the fact that inactivity leads to weight gain – and weight gain leads to tighter calf muscles and more stress on the feet. It’s a vicious circle and requires intervention.
We have to unload the fascia – fact. Patients with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis MUST engage in treatment that is designed to take stress away from the plantar fascia. Strapping, orthotics, a change in shoes, or an immobilisation boot if the condition warrants it – one of these forms of intervention is almost always required for patients suffering with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis.
Patients MUST stretch their calf muscles too (correct technique is crucial or else can be detrimental) if they are found to be tight.
If you are suffering with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis and you would like to learn more you may wish to click on the following: Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Written by Karl Lockett