David is 60 years old, and David first came to see us with pains under his heels that had been troubling him on and off for 2 years and progressively worsening over the past 12 months.
As a near to retiring senior policeman, the pain was now interfering with David’s ability to stand for the second half of his shift. This meant that he recently had to take time off work, and had to sit down regularly throughout his day.
David’s heel pain was most painful during his first steps in the morning, first steps after his lunch break, and progressively worsening towards the end of his day. He described the pain as a stone bruise, and graded his pain 8/10, with 10/10 being the worst.
His goal was to make it to retirement and for it not to affect him into retirement.
David was diagnosed by podiatrist Jason as having plantar fasciopathy (many people call it plantar fasciitis). When our feet are too flexible and excessively roll in, a significant load is placed on the fascia. When combined with the time David spends on his feet at work, the fascia is further strained, which has ultimately resulted in micro-tears and injury.
If this injury is treated early – within 3 months of symptoms arising, we would expect the problem to resolve within 6 weeks when following our proven processes.
Unfortunately, when left for longer than 3 months without the right treatment and care, plantar fasciitis can take much longer to heal, especially when the ligament continues to be regularly overused – like when your job requires you to stand for prolonged periods.
We started David on our proven treatment process for plantar fasciitis, which includes:
✔ Strapping using a plantar fascial supportive strap
✔ Stretching tight muscles
✔ Strengthening weak muscles
✔ Using orthotics and supportive footwear to support the arch so that the healing process can occur without interruption
Due to the length of time that David’s pain had been present, we anticipated a recovery time of 3-6 months. An additional treatment that we use for long term chronic pain that has been present for over 3 months is shockwave therapy.
Shockwave is designed to speed up the healing of the damaged fascia. It uses acoustic pulses delivered at precise points into the foot to stimulate the cells responsible for healing – cells that can otherwise become quite lazy and dormant in chronic pain.
With this technology, used in addition to the usual management, we can often receive much faster healing outcomes. This worked brilliantly for David, and his pain resolved within 10 weeks.
We reviewed David’s progress after 3 months, and he is still working without pain and has even started recreational walking in his free time.