In 2012 Karl was invited to the Sports Medicine Australia members seminar to talk to fellow podiatrists on Heel Pain Treatment and Plantar Fasciitis Treatment, following which he became a full member of Sports Medicine Australia and the Australian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine.
With 4 locations across Sydney and Wollongong, all with Gp’s and other allied health practitioners such as physiotherapists, you are always in good care. You will always be treated by a nationally accredited Podiatrist who is also a member of Sports Medicine Australia and The Australian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
While there is no single cause of Plantar Fasciitis, there are definite trends and common findings in patients with heel pain.
1: Tight calf muscles
Patients with tight calf muscles will suffer with excessive pulling of the muscle group on the back of the heel. This in turn creates pulling of other structures that are attached to the heel, including the Plantar Fascia. When the pulling continues for long enough, then inflammation will develop and lead to Plantar Fasciitis. This causes Heel Pain.
2: A sudden increase in activity
It is extremely common for patients who increase their level of activity to develop Plantar Fasciitis. Boot camp, running, zumba, recreational walking or other quick movement sports such as tennis or touch football are typical causes of Heel Pain. The sharp increase in exercise is too much for the foot to cope with and the stress on the Plantar Fascia causes inflammation. The Heel Pain that is caused by this inflammation is known as Plantar Fasciitis.
3: The wrong shoes
It is common to see patients with Plantar Fasciitis who have been wearing shoes that are too soft and flexible. The lack of support can be stressful on the heel for those patients who’s feet aren’t particularly stable. If these ill fitting shoes are worn for long enough, the stress will lead to Heel Pain as the inflammation of the fascia persists. Footwear assessment and advice will be essential in order to get on top of the Plantar Fasciitis. It may surprise some people to learn that high heeled shoes are not the cause of Plantar Fasciitis, although they can cause tight calf muscles.
4: High arches
This is due to the lack of contact under the sole of the foot. Even sports shoes which appear to have good arch support inside are often too soft and not high enough to make contact with the arch of the foot. Hence, the plantar fascia is unsupported. This can lead to Heel pain and Plantar Fasciitis.
5: Flat feet
Flat feet is caused by ligament laxity and leads to foot instability. Other structures such as muscles, tendons and fascia work harder to compensate for this instability. Heel pain or Plantar Fasciitis arises when the instability is too great for these other structures to cope with. The strain on the fascia is too severe and the inflammation sets in.
6: Over stretching
Certain calf stretches put the foot into a position that creates a pulling sensation through the sole of the foot. This can cause Plantar Fasciitis which can cause pain in the arch of the foot as well as Heel Pain.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
If you have Plantar Fasciitis, you will most likely feel a sharp pain under the ball of your heel and it will often give pain when standing after a period of rest. For example when you get out of bed in the mornings or after being sat down. Some patients describe this feeling as a stone bruise sensation, or a pebble in the shoe and at times the pain can be excruciating. Patients with Plantar Fasciitis can experience pain free periods whereby the think they are on the mend, only for the heel pain to come back aggressively when they appear to have done nothing wrong. If your plantar fasciitis came on very suddenly and the pain is relentless, then you may have Plantar Fascial Tears. We will be able to differentiate between these 2 conditions, sometimes with ultra sound imaging. The treatment for each of these conditions will need to be very different.
If you have a Heel Spur, this may be found under the base of your heel or around the back of your heel bone (the calcaneus). The Heel Spur is calcified bone that builds up over time due to the pulling of soft tissue on the affected area. You should bear in mind that the Heel Spur is not usually the source of your problem, and that the pain comes from the inflammation and irritation of the tendon or fascia that attaches to that area of bone.
Achilles Tendonitis and Achilles Tendonopathy are 2 very different conditions. We regularly see both conditions in the clinic and we have different treatment options available for both.
If you have an active son or daughter with heel pain, who may also be going through a growth spurt, then they are most likely complaining of a heel condition known as Sever’s Disease. This is a growth plate problem, common in running and jumping sports and has an age range of between 7 and 14 years. Although Sever’s is something that children will grow out of we recommend having it professionally assessed and treated. There are things we can do to make your child more comfortable during this phase, and with a view to keeping them active.
Call (02) 9388 3322
to speak with our experienced practice manager.
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Text “help” to this number 0415 977 624 if you would like a pre consultation chat before committing to an appointment.
Sydney Heel Pain Clinic and Melbourne Heel Pain Clinic should not be confused with any other clinic with a similar name that specifically offers treatment for the same conditions we do. Our 3D foot scanning technology is different to the foam box casting and plaster of paris casting techniques that are still used by some other clinics.