Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It is the result of inflammation in the strong ligamentous band that starts from the sole of the foot and attaches to the heel. This band helps to support the arch of the foot.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis

  • Pain on the bottom of the heel
  • Pain in the arch of the foot
  • Pain that is worse in the morning or after sitting/standing for a long time
  • Heel swelling
  • A tight Achilles tendon
Causes of plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by

  • engaging in activities like running, dancing, and aerobics that strain the heel bone;
  • Having flat feet or high arches
  • being older
  • being overweight
  • pregnancy
  • standing for long periods of time
  • wearing shoes with stiff soles or inadequate arch support
Imaging for plantar fasciitis

  • Weight-bearing X-rays
  • Ultrasound or MRI scans may be required
Non operative treatment for plantar fasciitis

The vast majority of patients will improve with non-surgical measures.

  • Topical pain creams e.g. NSAIDS
  • Pain medications e.g. NSAIDS such as Mobic or Panadol Osteo
  • Shoe wear modification
    • athletic shoes
    • stiffer soled shoe with rocker bottom modification
  • Physiotherapy:
    • plantar fascia and achilles tendon stretches
  • Plantar fascia exercises:
    • rolling the foot on a frozen water bottle
    • rolling the foot on a tennis ball

Plantar Fasciitis Exercises

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

  • Activity modification:
    • improve fitness and strength via non axial loading exercises e.g. cycling, swimming
    • avoid axial loading exercises e.g. running
  • Off the shelf or custom orthotics
  • Night splints
  • Silicone heel pads
  • CAM boots may be required to rest the fascia
  • Weight loss management
  • Shockwave therapy
Surgery for plantar fasciitis

Surgery for plantar fasciitis is considered if symptoms don't improve for over 6-12 months.

Risks of plantar fasciitis surgery

All surgery has risks involved, however every effort is made to reduce these risks. Risks include but are not limited to:

  • Infection: superficial wounds or deep infections
  • Clots: DVT (deep venous thrombosis) or PE (pulmonary embolus)
  • Nerve damage: tingling, numbness or burning
  • Ongoing pain
  • Stiffness of the ankle joint
  • General or anaesthetic risks including to the heart and lung
  • Drug reactions/allergy
  • Scarring or tethering of the skin
  • Rupture
  • Calf weakness
  • Revision surgery

There are increased risks of surgery in diabetics, smokers, significant peripheral vascular disease, severe neuropathy, previous or current infection which may preclude a patient from surgery.

View FootForward for Diabetes (run by Diabetes Australia) for more information on foot care.  

For all appointments and enquiries, please phone 07 5645 6913 or email

9 Kinloch Avenue
Benowa QLD 4217


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