Coping with chronic heal pain can be a real pain in the, well, foot. Diagnosing exactly what the issue is can also be difficult without a proper medical examination. However, a likely culprit will be plantar fasciitis – a chronic, weight bearing, repetitive microtrauma pathology that can lead to degeneration and inflammation. Whether it be a shooting pain up your leg, a stabbing pain in the base of your foot or a dull ache in your heel, plantar fasciitis causes different symptoms and levels of pain amongst patients.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, and is brought on when a thick band of tissue across the bottom of your foot (called the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Since the condition takes a long time to develop, this inflammation is typically caused as a result of a sports-related activity or due to a poor choice of footwear.

However, there are other risk factors that can increase your chances of developing the condition. These typically include obesity (as the added weight puts extra stress on your feet), age and standing for long periods of time. 

What are its symptoms?

The most commonly reported symptom is a stabbing pain that usually occurs after you’ve just stood up and started the day. Once you’re up and moving around, the pain normally lessens but returns later on after a long period of standing, or when rising to stand from a seated position.

The pain also seems to get worse when exercising, so the plantar fasciitis is said to be particularly common in athletes competing in sports that involve running or jumping.

How is it diagnosed?

Many cases of plantar fasciitis can be self-diagnosed using an online symptom checker. However, getting the condition looked at by a professional is the only real way of knowing for sure whether the problem is plantar fasciitis or something else entirely.

To diagnose the issue correctly, an experienced podiatrist will use a specialised imaging procedure called a Diagnostic Foot Ultrasound. This will produce an accurate image of your foot’s interior structure which will, in turn, allow the trained expert to pinpoint the exact cause of the issue.

The system uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a picture of all the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints in your foot. Now, while this may all sound technical and scary, it really is anything but. The procedure is completely painless and only takes between 10 and 15 minutes to complete. Plus, once it’s over and done with, the podiatrist will provide you with a tailored treatment plan and expert advice to resolve the issue.

What are the treatment options?

Many of the best ways of treating plantar fasciitis come from home-based treatments. As a general rule, you should make sure to invest in some supportive footwear and use an ice pack whenever the pain arises. You should also rest your foot when you can, and avoid standing up for too long. Coupled with this rest, you should try a number of daily stretching exercises to improve your plantar fascia’s ability to bear your weight when next up and about.

For more severe cases of plantar fasciitis, wearing a night splint is recommended. This helps to brace your foot and ankle in the correct position while you sleep, stretching the plantar fascia and helping ease the pain.

If none of these techniques make a difference to the pain after several months, a surgical procedure may be required. Steroid injections, shock wave therapy and plantar fascia removal are all examples of these, but they are only really needed if the chronic heel pain becomes too much to handle.

If you are suffering from chronic heel pain in the Sussex area and would like to have the issue looked at by a professional, contact us today. Our friendly team of podiatrists and chiropodists are specialists in identifying and treating a whole range of lower limb-related issues. Resolving your foot pain is only a phone call away.  

Jonathan Collins Specialist Podiatrist

We are trusted by our clients

Great, friendly service. Would happily recommend.
J K
J K
09/05/2022
I was in so much pain with my right foot because I got a cyst in it and just found Sussex Foot Centre in google and called them for booking appointment. The person I talked with was so helpful and they offered appointment on the same day. Everybody working at this place were so friendly and experienced. At my first appointment I had a consultation with ultrasound scan and clearly described me the next steps what would solve my problem and it really reassured me because I was so scared and tired from the pain and for long waiting time on GP referrals. For the treatment, I got an appointment on next day (again so fast!!) and already when I came out from the Centre could walk much better and the pain disappeared. I am so grateful for them and still going back for regular checking and advices. I also having issues with my nails too and I am sure I could get a quick solution on those issue too! Everybody having issue with their foot please don't hesitate to get in touch with Sussex Foot Centre - just give a try and I am sure you will don't disappoint! For me honestly was a life-saver. Thank you so much!
Tundi Bodi
Tundi Bodi
03/05/2022
Highly recommended due to efficient, spotless, courteous staff with on time treatment. You could take a good step forward by using this team.
Brian Beesley
Brian Beesley
03/05/2022
Excellent podiatrist- knowledgeable, professional, caring and quick. Thanks!
Murdo Guy
Murdo Guy
25/04/2022
I can't thank this gentlemen enough. Pain in my foot had effected my whole life, no running, no water aerobics no tai chi and most of all no work as I'm a cook. Scan first visit, problem located plan worked out, return week later double appointment as we live hour away. Another scan, walk on treadmil, insole made...meanwhile he explained everything, so I could understand. I. Very impressed with the whole experience, and would recommend them to anyone
lyn murphy
lyn murphy
15/04/2022
I have had toe nail surgeries with the Sussex Foot Centre and both times have had very positive experiences. Jon provided excellent treatment and care during the surgeries and in the follow up post surgeries. Jon and Thomas were professional and friendly and they have been so flexible and accommodating with scheduling appointments, as well as providing quick responses by email and telephone. I would recommend the Sussex Foot Centre. Thank you so much!
Josephine Zamat
Josephine Zamat
08/04/2022
Jon Collins and team provide excellent patient focused, customer focused care. I have not met a better podiatrist than Jon in over 30 years in healthcare management and 10 years as a patient. As you step into reception you are welcomed with both smile and greeting. Even though it is a busy practice, changes in appointment are politely and readily managed. Forgetfulness and a missed appointment are taken in their stride! I attended first as an ”emergency” patient, three years ago. I was at the local hospital and the Sussex Foot Centre was suggested. I was seen the same afternoon. After months of hobbling, Jon treated my foot with professional skill, exuding warm reassurance. Regular attendance and treatment ensured rapid improvement. The specially created insole proved to be a boon. I have remained with Jon as my podiatrist for three years now. I can think of no reason why I should go elsewhere. I have no hesitancy in recommendinng him. When my GP asked me why I go over to Haywards Heath, my reply was that he is the best.
Malcolm Boyland
Malcolm Boyland
05/04/2022
The treatment and service from Sussex Foot Clinic was excellent and I would highly recommend them to anyone. Over the counter and home remedies had failed miserably. Investing in some professional treatment and following it through diligently was well worth it. Thank you Jon.
E M Drake
E M Drake
24/03/2022
I found The Sussex Foot Centre via Google and what a find! I started seeing Jon last summer with painful Plantar Fasciitis in both feet. With Jon’s knowledge, non invasive treatment and orthotics, I am so grateful to him for my pain free feet now! Jon and his team are so helpful, with total professionalism and extensive knowledge - I have learnt so much! Tom on reception is also so very friendly and efficient. Keep up the amazing work you all do.
Lisa Bailey
Lisa Bailey
21/03/2022
A first class service. A friendly, highly professional medical approach . I have had effective, pain-free treatment for my footcare. Highly commended.
Ollie Swan
Ollie Swan
20/03/2022