Do you have heel pain?

Heel pain, also commonly referred to as Plantar Fasciitis, Plantar Fasciopathy, or Heel Spurs are one of the most common foot injuries we manage as Podiatrists.


Do you hobble those first few steps in the morning and feel about 10 years older than you are? We have all been there and the good news is it is NOT something that you need to live with!


With our feet carrying approximately three times our body weight with each step and overloading with our busy schedules adds significantly increased weight to our heels which can exacerbate and/or cause heel pain.


For many of our clients, we have noticed that COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of looking after your feet. We have seen an increase in numbers of those who are experiencing heel pain due to exercising more and from medical staff and other essential workers who are spending a lot of time on their feet.


So! What is Plantar Fasciitis?


Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain occur when the ligament that runs along the base of the foot (the plantar fascia ligament) becomes inflamed or irritated due to overload.


This strong and fibrous ligament connects the base of the heel bone to the base of the toes and functions to support the arch of the foot and assists with heel-to-toe propulsion during walking and running.


With repetitive stress and strain, micro-tearing occurs, leading to inflammation and tendon thickening causing heel/arch pain! (Yes, I'm looking at all of you who were trying to suddenly become super fit during isolation!)


Due to the location of the micro-tears, everyday activities such as walking and standing interferes with the rest needed for normal healing, which is why running or long shift work can be rather taxing!



Symptoms:

  • Sharp pain directly under the heel! Especially with the first few steps in the morning or after sitting for a while.

  • Tenderness to the touch, usually right on the heel and sometimes in the arch of the foot.

Causes:

  • An increase in activity or training - too much or too quickly!

  • Standing for prolonged periods on concrete or hard surfaces

  • Faulty foot mechanics like over-pronation (flat feet)

  • Tight calf muscles

  • Overweight and/or increased weight

  • Improper footwear- you need good shoes not just for exercise, but for work too! (Don't worry we have lots of stylish recommendations..)

  • Challenging running or walking conditions, such as steep hills and uneven terrain

So, what can your Podiatrist do for you?


Early diagnosis and intervention is important, the longer this condition is left, the more difficult it can be to manage. A Podiatrist can identify causative factors and put in place an appropriate management plan in place to get you back on your feet pain-free.


The following therapies listed are often combined to manage pain and promote healing;

  • Western Medical Accupuncture/Dry Needling

  • Laser Therapy

  • Massage (especially for those tight calves)

  • Heel lock taping techniques

  • Mobilisation to release restrictions and adhesions at various joints in the foot and ankle

  • Custom orthotic therapy to redirect the forces through the foot, reduce tissue stress and promote healing

  • Night splints to stretch the calves

  • Footwear- finding the right shoe for you, whether it be making sure there is control and arch support or stability and shock absorption

  • Customised exercise and strength plans to ease back in the physical activity and juggle work’s physical requirements

Speak to one of our Podiatrists today by calling 1300 002 257 and book a consultation online to get you those steps closer to returning to work or exercise- pain-free!


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North Terrace

Goldsbrough House Level 5

172 North Terrace 

Adelaide SA 5000

P: 08 8410 3398

Hamley Bridge

Hamley Bridge Medical Centre 

10 Light Street 

Hamley Bridge SA 5401​

P: 08 8528 2070

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2/257 Fullarton Road

Parkside SA 5063

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Gate 2/48 Gloucester Avenue

Belair SA 5052

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