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Posts Tagged ‘Osteopathy’

6 Tips To Help Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Plantar fasciitis is the medical term used to describe inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot between the heel and toes.

This inflammation can be very painful, lasting months and even up to two years, depending on the treatment received. Most people suffer pain in the soles of their feet after getting out of bed first thing in the morning whilst walking and doing everyday activities.Osteopathy and Plantar Fascitis

What Are The Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis?

Symptoms will depend on the severity of the condition, but most people complain of pain under the heel. There is also likely to be a feeling of tightness or a dull ache along the sole of your foot, particularly first thing in the morning after getting out of bed and placing your full weight on the foot.

The foot pain is also likely to worsen after long periods of sitting, standing or after exercising. This is due to an excessive strain placed on the tissue of the foot after prolonged use.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

While there is no one-size-fits-all reason for plantar fasciitis, some people can be more prone to its symptoms; it can be more likely to occur in people who:

  • Walk in an unusual way, such as rolling the feet inwards or outwards, or with a limp
  • Are overweight or obese, or have recently gained a lot of weight, such as during pregnancy
  • Wear poorly designed or fitted footwear (for example, high heels or jandals)
  • People who are on their feet for long periods of time, such as retail employees, beauticians, and hairdressers.
  • Have flat feet known as pes planus.
  • Stand, run or jump on hard surfaces for long periods of time, particularly if this is unusual behaviour.
  • Have injured their feet in some way, such as a stress fracture to one of the metatarsal bones.

6 Tips To Help Treat Plantar Fasciitis At Home

Below are 6 classic tips to help ease the pain and resolve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis at home.

  1. Ice It. While any icepack will do, freezing a plastic bottle full of water is a great at-home remedy. Place the frozen bottle on the floor and roll the foot backwards and forwards over it to ease the inflammation. This is especially good in the evening.
  2. Stretch And Strengthen. Stretching out your calf muscles, foot muscles, and buttock muscles can be useful in correction and prevention, along with stretching the Achilles Tendon and other leg muscles daily.
  3. Massage It. Using a tennis ball, or roll the ball under the sole of your foot, releasing the tension in the foot’s plantar fascia.
  4. Warm It Up. Before commencing strenuous exercise, stretching the foot can assist in releasing the plantar fascia.
  5. Choose Sensible Footwear. Wearing comfortable, supportive footwear is a must when suffering from plantar fasciitis; this means no bare feet and no high heels!
  6. Modify. Ask yourself a few questions to isolate why this condition has arisen now and see if you can modify your behaviour. For example; Why does only the right foot hurt? What have I done differently lately? Am I standing/walking for excessive periods? Am I wearing flip flops in the summertime?


Treating The Underlying Cause Of Plantar Fasciitis

While all of the above at-home remedies are useful in temporarily managing your plantar fasciitis, correcting the root cause of the plantar fasciitis is the most important part of your recovery.

There are several options available to you when seeking professional treatment for plantar fasciitis; these can be used individually or in conjunction with each other.

  • Osteopathic Treatment. Osteopaths are trained in addressing the underlying cause of the inflammation. They will consider the big picture and look at physical factors, including restricted ankle movement, tight calf muscles and a mal-aligned spine, and lifestyle factors such as weight gain, repetitive overuse, or inappropriate footwear.
  • Podiatry. As health professionals who specialise in treating the feet, podiatrists can be a great addition to your treatment plan. A Podiatrist can prescribe orthotics or arch supports that may be required if you cannot modify the behaviour that is aggravating the plantar fasciitis.
  • General Medical. Your GP or doctor is a good port of call if the pain has reached levels where it may be impacting your regular daily activities. Doctors can prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can help reduce inflammation and pain levels, temporarily aiding in healing.
  • Other / Surgery. Steroidal injections can be used at times. Shockwave therapy may be a useful adjunct to osteopathic treatment.  Surgery is rarely required.

Need help with heel or foot pain?

See your local Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy and get back to your everyday life sooner!

Contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.

The Importance of Addressing Pain Promptly

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

Everyone experiences acute pain at some stage in their life. You can easily hurt your back gardening or sprain your ankle running. Most acute pain settles down very quickly, either by itself or with treatment, and should generally be fully healed within 12 weeks, as the body has an innate capacity to heal. However, some people continue to feel pain long after an injury and begin to suffer from chronic pain.

I regularly treat patients who are needlessly struggling with pain and injuries which significantly affects their quality of life. I just listened to a BBC radio interview with a GP and Osteopath in the UK, who were discussing pain management and the increasing use of painkillers to treat pain. Prescriptions for painkillers such as tramadol and codeine have gone up by 80% in the UK and quadrupled in New Zealand over the last 10 years! These are massive statistics, notwithstanding that the latest research shows that in 80% of cases; these drugs do very little for patients suffering from chronic pain. Hence, one has to ask the question why are so many people suffering from chronic pain??

“The body has an innate capacity to heal”

What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is very different to acute pain. Pain becomes chronic when the source or cause of the pain has healed, but the brain keeps firing out pain signals, and the patient continues to suffer pain. Technically, chronic pain is diagnosed once 12 weeks have passed since your injury, and you continue to suffer from pain.

Could I End Up Suffering From Chronic Pain?

Every patient suffers pain and injury in a very unique way.  Listening to the interview today on pain management, the Osteopath summed it up nicely….”all too often the patient ends up in chronic pain due to a misunderstanding of their injury and lack of knowledge on how to treat it in the first place”.

I personally also believe that your healthcare provider needs to identify and address any potential barriers to healing, during your initial consultation to prevent chronic pain from developing.

Barriers to healing can include:

  • Injures not treated in a timely manner
  • Emotional stress
  • Catastrophizing thoughts about pain – (negative thoughts about the injury and the level of pain)
  • Continued physical stressors on the body
  • Poor nutrition
  • Not treating the underlying cause of the injury
  • Poor communication on the part of the practitioner!
  • Other underlying illnesses and poor health
  • Not enough physical activity

What Can I Do To Prevent Chronic Pain?

If your injury is not healing it is very important to seek prompt medical advice from a healthcare professional, who will diagnose and advise you on the best course of action.  Do this in a timely manner, don’t let pain and injuries linger on, in order to prevent the onset of chronic pain.

Remember that pain is an alarm signal that something is not right’.

Make sure to agree on a very clear treatment plan with your healthcare provider.

If needed, take pain medication sparingly, and in accordance with your GP’s instructions.

Always remain positive, the majority of injuries heal very well, and you should always aim to get back to your everyday activities as soon as possible after injury.

‘Life is way too short to let pain interfere with your quality of life!’

And remember….your Osteopath is always here to help! 🙂


Looking for help with your pain or injury? Please do not hesitate to contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.