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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that causes pain on the underside of the heel and the bottom of the foot.

What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

The main symptom is pain. This pain is made worse by walking and stretching of the foot. It can often be at its worst following long periods of inactivity such as sleeping or sitting.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

The Plantar Fascia is a strong band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the middle foot bones. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this thick band is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.

You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have:

• Foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches)
• Long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces.
• Sudden weight gain or obesity
• Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
• Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles

Plantar fasciitis is seen in both men and women. However, it most often affects active men ages 40 – 70. It is one of the most common orthopaedic complaints relating to the foot. Plantar fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without plantar fasciitis.

Pulsed Radiofrequency (PRF) for the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis


What is pulsed radiofrequency (PRF)?

It is a treatment that uses radio waves to control pain.  A rapidly-changing electrical current is applied using a needle to a specific nerve which is causing problems.  This causes changes to the nerve which can provide pain relief by preventing pain signals from reaching the spinal cord.  Other signals from this nerve are not blocked. 

What are the benefits?

PRF treatment can give long lasting pain relief for between three to 18 months but everyone experiences the effects in different ways. 

What are the risks?

Overall PRF injections are very safe and serious side-effects or complications are rare.  However, like all injection procedures there are some risks.

Common risks

  • Bruise or tenderness at the site of injection.
  • An increase in your pain – this should only last a few days. 

Rare risks

  • No improvement in pain.
  • Prolonged increase in pain after the procedure.
  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Injury to nerves – either temporary or permanent.
  • Anaphylaxis – severe allergic reaction to drugs. 

What are the alternatives?

You do not have to have PRF and there are alternative treatments which we are happy to discuss with you. These include:

  • Osteopathy/physiotherapy and exercises prescriptions
  • Surgical division of the plantar fascia.
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