Plantar Fasciitis or Plantar Fasciopathy  – This is a practical update as Helen has been using exercises, stretches and ultra sound or  Shockwave Therapy with Plantar Fasciitis now for over three years, There are other diagnosis for foot pain and or heel pain so please see the table at the bottom of the this article

Causes & Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis.





Plantar Fasciitis is the medical term for the thickening of the Plantar Fascia, a tough and flexible band of tissue that runs under the sole of the foot. The Plantar Fascia tissue connects the heel and foot bones and acts as a type of shock absorber.

Plantar Fasciitis is a very painful condition caused by microtears developing within the tissue of the Plantar Fascia.  This results in the thickening of the Plantar Fascia resulting in a lack of flexibility in the foot and causing pain and discomfort. The surrounding tissue and heel bone may also become inflamed.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis are varied but some of the more common reasons for the onset of Plantar Fasciitis include:

Sudden damage such as a Sports Injury – This usually affects those people who are physically active and can be caused by damage to the heel while engaging in sports or lesiure activity.

Gradual Wear and Tear – The stresses placed on the Plantar Fascia over time can also lead to the thickening of the Plantar Fascia. Some of the more common stresses include; standing for long periods of time, being overweight, lack of exercise and wearing shoes which are too flat and do not support the foot correctly.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis include heel pain, lack of mobility to the affected foot,

Treatment of Planter Fasciitis.

Common treatments for Plantar Fasciitis include foot orthotics; either customized or over the counter, corticosteroid injections, stretching exercises and shockwave therapy.

Normally when people eventually come to try shockwave therapy they have had their Plantar Fasciitis for well over 12 months.  At this stage the condition is known as Resistance Chronic Plantar Fasciitis.

Use of Orthotics in Treating Plantar Fasciitis

The reason for using orthotics is to steady the footwhile walking, preventing the foot from stretching and increasing the three-layered plantar ligament as it inserts into the heel bone.

Unsteady foot movement while walking results in micro-tears which fail to heal properly  so that the Plantar Fasciitisis under permanent loading creating a thickening of the ligament. which sometimes becomes full of new formation micro-blood vessels (neovascularisation).

The use of orthotics stabilises the foot allowing the micro tears in the Plantar Fascia to heal and repair itself.

Corticosteriod Injections in Treating Plantar Fasciitis and increases the Risk Factors in Chronic Rupture of the Plantar Fascia


The major problem with corticosteroid injections is that while they provide short-term relief from the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis they  do not promote the healing of the condition itself.

Shockwave Therapy Treatment  or Ultra Sound Therapy Treatment  and exercises  Plantar Fasciitis

There is now plenty of evidence that a multi-treatment approach using Shockwave Therapy combined with orthotics and mild gentle stretches can heal Plantar Fasciitis rapidly, usually within three to four treatments.

As one of the few trained osteopathic practitioners of Shockwave Therapy in Edinburgh, Helen is experienced in dealing with Plantar Fasciitis and uses Shockwave Therapy to stimulate healing within the cells of the Plantar Fascia. Using Shockwave Therapy on those suffering from the early stages of Plantar Fasciitis – before it develops into Chronic Plantar Fasciitis – means that the number of treatments required to effect healing can be reduced a three or four treatments and allowing up to four months for the tissue to repair itself completely.