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Plantar Fasciitis (Sore Heel)


csmith263
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I'm after some advice on dealing with plantar Fasciitis as my 10 year old son has this I've been to my GP who basically said that's what he's got and there is no fix for it. Has anyone got any tips on treatments that worked or is physio an option or is it down to plain old rest it's worst first thing in the morning. Any advice greatly received thanks

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I would see a Physio. As a rule we tend not to give medical advice here, purely because we cannot see or examine someone and it is therefore unwise to be giving possibly the wrong advice via the internet. A good physio will be able to examine your son, treat the foot and suggest corrections to avoid the problem recurring. If you cannot find a physio who specialises in dance, then a good sports physio will be the next best thing.

 

Good luck.

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Hi, PF is usually worst first thing in the morning. IF the GP's diagnosis is correct the following is the advice I would give someone for plantar fasciitis, however, as others have said, if the diagnosis is not correct, the following will not be appropriate.

 

The first thing is to ensure that the pain/inflammation is under control if it isn't tolerable. Rest, Ice baths (cold water in a bucket or bowl with some ice cubes) are good. The other thing that is worth doing is using some way of massaging the plantar fascia which runs along the sole of the foot. Either manually (using hands) or using a tennis ball, rolling pin or any other massage (/torture) device! It might be worth having him checked by a physio or podiatrist to check his foot alignment (pronating/supinating) and they may recommend orthotic insoles. It may also be worth looking into some strengthening exercises.

Edited by drdance
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I have PF myself and resting doesn't really help as it's worse after being inactive. stretching the foot before getting out of bed in the morning really helps. You can do this using a theraband or something similar or before you stand roll your foot over a tennis ball for a few minutes. Orthotics also help and you can get these from a podiatrist who will also assess your posture and suggest other treatments. x

Edited by kcoom75
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I have also suffered with this and found just flexing the foot (like in baby ballet 'naughty toes') when i first wake before I get out of bed helps tremendously, Going downstairs first thing in the morning was extremely painful if I didn't do this. Also found wearing a good supportive shoe/trainer helped and very flat, thin-soled sandels did not!!!!!

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I found using ac foot massager that I bought from (I think) the Body Shop worked well. For acute inflammation, fill a 250 ml water bottle with water, freeze, and use as a foot massager, by rolling your instep over it. It hurts, but this helps. Also, look at stretching out the Achilles really slowly & thoroughly - this should be taught & supervised by a physiotherapist.

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When I had plantar fasciitis I saw a GP then a private podiatrist who did biomechanical tests etc and I ended up with orthotic insoles which I wear in street shoes. Solved the problem. Later had another pair on NHS when those died.

 

I didn't find massaging helped very much as it made it more painful and irritated the inflammation

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I recently attended a meeting where a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon spoke about Plantar Fasciitis and he stated that in a lot of cases this is caused by having a tight Gastrocnemius muscle ( one of the calf muscles) and therefore it can be helped by  physiotherapy to stretch/ lengthen the Gastroc e.g. heel drops  :-)

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Just a thought CS, but when I was into running a few years ago, I changed from my usual running shoes to another make that had a built up section for some reason on the side where the planta ligament runs. I ended up being in a lot of pain for quite a while, but I'm sure at his young age, he will recover sooner rather than later. I think the doctor was being a little negative, regarding his attitude to the problem. Like has been said previously, a recognised sports injury physio will help enormously with the healing process. Good luck to the lad, as it is painful.  

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Er... find another GP?

 

This doctor doesn't sound at all helpful or sympathetic, and your ds is only 10 - he shouldn't have to just put up with it, poor lad.

I was surprised how dismissive the GP was but she was a locum! I've got an appointment at a dance specialist physio so I'm hoping she will get him sorted it's horrible to see him in so much pain especially with exams tomorrow and boys workshop at the weekend and show next weekend the ice tip is working well though!

 

Thanks again for all your advice I wouldn't normally ask for medical advice but I know it's a really common problem so was just looking for tips from fellow suffers!

 

He dances a lot but also plays football physio suggested could be the football that's caused it!

Edited by csmith263
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How did your DS develop the Plantar fasciitis? That might be significant in long term treatment.

 

I've had Plantar fasciitis in both feet - at different times, thank goodness! It's painful. Both times it came from activity in ballet class, rather than just the depradations of middle-age and a bit of weight gain.

 

The first time, I went to my GP, as it happened in ballet class - we were going across the floor with turns, as I landed from a double pirouette, I heard a loud crack and the person I was dancing with did too! I was worried I'd broken something, but my GP confirmed it as PF, and recommended supportive, and not completely flat shoes, and rolling with a frozen bottle of water.

 

I then went to a PT, who gave me more exercises, massage etc. It tends to relate to tight calf muscles etc, so most of the therapy and ongoing self-care for me to do with stretching out the lower calf, and where the various muscles & tendons insert around the heel.

 

If your DS is only 10, it may indicate some sort of imbalance or muscle/skeketal difficulty, so I'd really recommend o couple of sessions with a good sports or dance PT. If it's hard to find a dance specialist physio, I find it's quite easy to find a sports physio practice & they can be excellent for dance as well.

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In our experience, GP's don't always quite 'get it' when it comes to dance injuries, they seem to trot out the 'rest and paracetamol' line rather too easily, and don't understand the need for urgent treatment.

 

If it came on quite suddenly, it could be related to a growth spurt and tight calf muscles, which could have had a knock-on effect. Does he have any shoes with a slight heel? They can help to take the pressure off a bit.

 

Good to hear that he will be seeing a specialist, and I hope he is soon on the mend. :)

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DC given a terrifying verbal verdict from a (non dance specialist) Podiatrist - "oh well, if you've got this then forget ever thinking about being a dancer long term". NOT very helpful. However, actual physical advice was much more helpful; rolling on frozen filled plastic small coke bottle (shape esp good) + spikey foot massage balls & taping up with special tape in certain way which kind of 'cradled the foot & heel' which seemed to hold foot & train body into better positioning to reduce pronation (rolling). After a short period of this it improved dramatically & you can even see much better arch raise in regular standing/walking since - corrected bad gait/stance habit. Occasional minor flair ups since - have noticed these seem to coincide with growth spurts. I do think some GP/medical advice can be less than helpful when they do not know of or understand the specifics of dance training. Also, the mental damage they can inflict when they say 'give up' try another sport' etc.is quite soul destroying. I think many do not differentiate from a regular kid doing an activity once a week to DC's who lets face it are full-on training athletes!

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I recently attended a meeting where a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon spoke about Plantar Fasciitis and he stated that in a lot of cases this is caused by having a tight Gastrocnemius muscle ( one of the calf muscles) and therefore it can be helped by  physiotherapy to stretch/ lengthen the Gastroc e.g. heel drops  :-)

 

 

Hello Littleone and welcome out of the lurking shadows!  Thanks for chipping in with this useful information.

 

I do hope that you will continue to post now that you have broken the ice!

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DD was at a physio today as she pulled her Achilles at the start of term & then her foot a week ago

 

He has recommended some specific exercises and a special massage on her calf - but not any stretching as she is too hypermobile anyway.

 

I was very impressed by the knowledge he had of Ballet as well as other types of Jazz and he was very careful to explain when she needs to 'lock' her knees.

 

Very impressive

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