Is your heel pain truly plantar fasciitis?

Gabe Ho, Registered Massage Therapist is a graduate of the Royal Canadian College of Massage, McMaster Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, and McMaster Advanced Neurofunctional Sports Performance Programs and a member of the College of Massage Therapists. He uses a neurofunctional approach for his massage and acupuncture treatments to identify and correct the underlying causes of dysfunction.

What is the true cause of your heel pain?

Plantar fasciitis is a commonly diagnosed condition for heel pain that results from inflammation of the plantar fascia.

Symptoms typically include:

  • A sharp burning pain when pressure is applied to the bottom of the foot – often described as ‘like stepping on glass’
  • More prevalent in the morning or after prolonged walking or standing

This pain can be very limiting and difficult to treat.

Does this sound like your heel pain?

Unfortunately more often than not plantar fasciitis is used as an umbrella diagnosis for heel pain.

The plantar fascia is a very strong connective tissue that wraps from your heel to the base of your toes. It has to be extremely strong and durable to be able to manage the weight bearing forces of not just standing but exponentially increased forces such as running or jumping.

It is unlikely that you are going to wake up one day and find that this connective tissue, that is built to withstand tremendous forces, has become so brittle that you can’t put your body weight on it.

diagram of nerves in the foot

Commonly, we find that heel pain is due to an irritation of one or more of the following nerves in the foot:

  • Tibial, with its medial and lateral plantar branches
  • Saphenous
  • Sural

These irritated nerves can be traced up the leg and often into the back. The irritation can be a result of a seemingly unrelated injury, a mal-alignment of structures (such as bones in the foot), hip or knee dysfunction, or issues of the spine.

An effective treatment of heel pain locates the source of the irritation (foot, knee, hip, back) through a detailed physical examination.  This ensures that we can treat the source of your heel pain as well as calming the local irritation in the foot.

If you are looking to understand your heel pain, our registered massage therapist or physiotherapist can provide you with the appropriate guidance to help you return to your regular activities.

Still unsure? Come and see one of our expert therapists at EQ Physio for a free 10-minute consultation to discuss how we can help you.  Our clinic is conveniently located near the corner of Dundas and Trafalgar in Oakville.