What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Its often useful to start by breaking down the meaning of the anatomical phrase. Plantar means foot and fasciia means band. Thus, the plantat fasciia ligament is a band of tissue located in the foot, spanning the arch from heel to ball along the sole.
A healthy plantar fasciia is strong enough to support the arch and elastic enough to bear the impact of the spring in your walk. It should be able to flex within a narrow range of motion, if conditions are present that increase this range of motion beyond normal, then painful conditions can arise.
Wearing improper, ill fitting footwear is one of the key causes of problems with this ligament. Shoes should always be chosen for providing good support and good fit, not merely for fashion.
Becoming overweight places undue strain on the feet, hence stresses the plantar fasciia ligament.
Whilst taking regular aerobic exercise is essential to good health. Extremes of high impact exercise can cause increased stress in this ligament leading to pain and loss of function. High and low impact exercise should been done in equal amounts.
Other factors that may be difficult or impossible to control include having a job that requires prolonged periods of standing, being born with an anatomical abnormality that affects gait, or normal ageing process that can lead to heel pad fat loss and reduced ligament laxity.
The pain is usually worst on standing particularly first thing in the morning, when you get up. It is a relatively common, usually occurring in the over 40’s age group. There are no visible features on the heel but a localised painful spot can be found in, and around, the middle of the sole of the heel.
Treatment is aimed at minimising and reducing the pain in the first few weeks. It will not disappear quickly. Treatment must be individually designed, usually including strapping, NSAID’s , stretching exercises, ice therapy and sometimes night splints and injection therapies may be considered.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion appears as a large boney bump on the side of the foot. Bunions may be extremely painful and make it difficult to wear enclosed full shoes. Bunions are formed when the big toe loses its flexibility to bend during walking, due to a mal-aligment of the first metatarsal and the big toe. Experts suggest bunions are hereditary and not caused but aggravated by poor fitting footwear. Small bunions (bunionettes) can form on the joint of the little toes.
Footwear advice, good proper fitting shoes will help reduce friction on the boney bunion bump. Bunion protector pads and splints are helpful in reducing pain caused by footwear. Orthotics can help slow the progression of the deformity, but are only of benefit in the early stages. Surgery is an option for late stage deformity or very painful and limiting bunions.
What is a Verruca?
Verrucae are warty growths which occur on the soles of your toes or feet. They are caused by the Human papilloma virus and can be contracted in areas such as swimming baths and changing rooms. They are highly contagious and should you be unlucky enough to catch the virus, precautions should be taken not too walk around barefoot anywhere.
Verrucae can often be painful and unsightly and extremely difficult to treat. Medicaments containing Salicylic acid have been proven to be the most effective treatment option. Over the counter preparations are available. However, if these are unsuccessful your Podiatrist can use stronger preparations of this acid therapy. Dry needling is now available which is carried out under a local anaesthetic.
Do you have Disabled Access?
Yes, ground floor access. Directly outside the surgery are disabled parking facilities for Blue Badge holders.