Common causes and treatment of heel pain
Heel pain (plantar fasciitis, heel spur syndrome) is the single most common biomechanical condition treated at Performance Podiatry.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Originally known as a “heel spur”, Plantar Fasciitis is actually a soft tissue injury whereby the plantar fascia, a broad band of tissue spanning from the heel into the ball of the foot, becomes inflamed and degenerated.
The role of the plantar fascia is to provide shock absorption for the load going in and out of the body through the foot. Imagine it as an elastic band that contracts and lengthens as we put our body weight through it standing, walking and running. Because of the pressure, you can often develop small microtears in the band (plantar fascia), sometimes developing into substantial tears.
We see that when the condition does not heal over the first few days, it can become stuck in a cycle of chronic inflammation and degeneration, making it more difficult to treat. The fact that we are constantly on our feet, as well as the area having relatively poor blood flow means that the small tears fail to heal and the problem continues to evolve.
Early and correct diagnosis by an expert is essential
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis will often cause significant pain in the first few steps of a morning in the heel and up the middle of the arch. You may notice this goes away during the day and becomes aggravated with running or physical activity.
The pain is often felt at the heel itself but can also be felt along the arch and even up into the big toe.
We often here people say it feels like a “stone bruise” type of pain but it is also common to feel a sharp, stabbing type of pain in the heel.
Plantar Fasciitis is often misdiagnosed and mistreated as a result. It can be mistaken for misdiagnosed for fat pad syndrome, calcaneus fracture, nerve injury or tumour, each of which requires a very different treatment. It is imperative that an accurate cause of your heel pain is diagnosed so a proper treatment plan can be put into place. If we suspect you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis we will perform a thorough Biomechanical Assessment to determine the cause of your heel pain and instigate an individualised treatment plan.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by one or a number of factors including:
- Poor biomechanics (including flat or high arches)
- Muscle tightness
- Poor muscle strength
- Poor footwear
- Changes in type, intensity or quantity of physical activity
- Weight gain
- Sudden increases in exercise
Treatment of heel pain
Our podiatrists have a wealth of experience in successfully treating the most stubborn case of Plantar Fasciitis or other heel pain. Our goal of treatment is to not only treat the symptoms but address the underlying factors that have contributed to its development.
Treatment will vary from person to person but it may include things such as…
- Strapping of the foot to improve foot biomechanics and de-load the plantar fascia
- Footwear advise specific to your needs
- Orthotic therapy to temporarily minimise the pressure through injured structures
- Strength and conditioning to improve the strength in the plantar fascia
- Stretching of the calf muscles
- Shockwave therapy to increase healing
- Load management advise
- Topical treatments such as anti-inflammatories
- Dry needling
Our Podiatrists have an extensive arsenal of tools and strategies that can be utilised depending on your individual needs and goals.
If this sounds like something that you have been struggling with, reach out to us today.
Make a podiatrist appointment for heel pain treatment
Our highly qualified and experienced podiatrists are experts in biomechanics and it’s our philosophy that the finest foot care requires an entirely bespoke experience. That’s why we are dedicated to providing entirely tailor-made diagnosis and treatment services that are the best in Australia.
Our dynamic practice has a holistic approach to resolving foot complaints.
From assessment and diagnosis to extraordinary treatment, every step of your journey with us will deliver you the ultimate podiatric experience, resulting in healthier and happier feet.
Book a consultation with our podiatrists in Sydney (Macquarie St), Darlinghurst and Randwick to discuss your condition and we’ll get you pain-free and back to full function as smoothly and quickly as possible, so you can return to the activities and life you love.