PLANTAR FASCIITIS (Commonly known as heel pain)

  1. Goals to relieve pain.
  2. Role of Shockwave therapy in plantar fascitis.


The goals of treatment for plantar fasciitis are to:

  • Relieve inflammation and pain in the heel and allow small tears in the plantar fascia ligament to heal
  • Improve strength and flexibility and correct foot problems such as excessive pronation so that you don’t stress the plantar fascia ligament and allow you to go back to your normal activities
  • Most people recover completely within a year. Out of 100 people with plantar fasciitis, about 95 are able to relieve their heel pain with nonsurgical treatments. Only about 5 out of 100 need surgery
  • Treatment that you start when you first notice symptoms is more successful and takes less time than treatment that is delayed
  • There are many methods you can try to relieve the heel pain of plantar fasciitis. Even though their effectiveness has not been proved in scientific studies, these methods, used alone or in combination, work for most people
  • Rest your feet. Limit or, if possible, stop daily activities that are causing your heel pain. 
  • Try to avoid running or walking on hard surfaces, such as concrete.
  • To reduce inflammation and relieve pain, put ice on your heel. 
  • Wear shoes with good shock absorption and the right arch support for your foot. Athletic shoes or shoes with a well-cushioned sole are usually good choices. Try heel cups or shoe inserts (orthotics) to help cushion your heel.
  • You can buy these at many athletic shoe stores and drugstores. Use them in both shoes, even if only one-foot hurts. Put on your shoes as soon as you get out of bed. 
  • Going barefoot or wearing slippers may make your pain worse.
  • Do simple exercises such as toe stretches, calf stretches, and towel stretches several times a day, especially when you first get up in the morning. These can help your ligament become more flexible and strengthen the muscles that support your arch. (For towel stretches, you pull on both ends of a rolled towel that you place under the ball of your foot.) Plantar Fasciitis: Exercises to Relieve Pain.
  • Avoid using only heat on your foot, such as from a heating pad or a heat pack for at least the first 2 or 3 days. Heat tends to make symptoms worse for some people. If you use contrast baths, which alternate hot and cold water, make sure you end with a soak in cold water. If you try a heating pad, use a low setting.

If your weight is putting extra stress on your feet, your doctor may encourage you to try a weight-loss program.

Role of Shockwave therapy:

In my clinical practice of 16 years, I have experienced shockwave therapy as a great technology to enhance our practice in such a way as if it is a blessing in disguise. Shockwave Therapy is a great machine even for manual therapists as it saves their hands and also a lot of your energy and time. This fine and effective way to break adhesions and to reduce extra calcification like bony spur in heels and shoulder etc are a much-needed device in every clinic.

Plantar fasciitis (PF) is the most common reason for heel pain. The efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) as an ideal alternative to conservative treatments and surgery is controversial, and almost all

Pneumatic Shockwave Therapy produce Radial shockwaves. They are called Soft Shockwaves and penetrate deep and effectively without focussing energy at a single point. This is the best and most effective technology used in pain management. Patients feel very comfortable during the treatment and pneumatic shockwaves have much wider range of applications. I have seen many of my patients who have been suffering from chronic Plantar fascitis from several years, recovered well with the help of shockwave therapy. But one needs to know the correct application of technology to get the best results. I have been using Storz Shockwave therapy at physio acti since last 3 years and it has really contributed well to give best and effective treatment to our patients.

Published by

Dr. M.R Zulfi

Director and Sr Consultant Physiotherapist. Physio Active Pvt Ltd.