What is it?
Heel pain or pain in the arch of the foot can be a debilitating problem that affects one’s ability to get out and about to complete their daily errands. This sort of pain can stem from a number of structures in the lower limb such as the arch itself, the nerves around the ankle, the calf musculature, a bony spur and even the nerves around the ankle and can often be related to poor biomechanics. It can be also referred to as ‘Plantar Fasciopathy’ or plantar fasciitis the former term being more accurate.
So as you can already see it can be related to one or multiple structures being painful. One of our experienced physiotherapy staff will help diagnose the source of your problem.
Some typical signs & symptoms:
- Pain in the heel or arch.
- Pain in the morning on rising, particularly the first few steps.
- Pain in the heel or arch after sitting for a longer period with difficulty to get going again.
- Pain aggravated by late afternoon after being on your feet all day long.
Who does it affect?
Typically it affects people in the 45 – 60 bracket with a high BMI contributing negatively to the equation.
It can also affect people in the sporting population who increase their training load too suddenly. Eg we often see runners who increases their weekly distance too quickly and experience pain in the heel or arch.
How to assess & diagnose the problem?
At Avondhu Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinic we will assess, diagnose, treat & advise you based on our findings. Our assessment involves a functional movement assessment that will screen how you move and more specific assessments targeting the lower limb. This in turn will highlight problem areas and our physios will explain how this relates to your pain.
How to treat Plantar heel pain?
As you are probably learning from this blog post, there is no ‘one size fits all’ cure for this condition and each person must be assessed and treated individually to ensure the best possible result. That said physiotherapy will often use a combination of specific strengthening, stretching & taping techniques in the management plan.
What if physiotherapy does not work?
If physio is not effective in resolving your heel pain then we at Avondhu Physio & Sports Injuries Clinic, can advise the next best course of action and use our network of specialists to refer you on for more specialised interventions. This typically consists of getting an image of foot to help the further guide the next step of the process.
How long does it take to get better?
This will not be music to your ears but according to the current scientific research out there it can take anything from four to twelve months and can sometimes be even longer for this problem to resolve. So be aware that is a slow process that will really test your patience but there is light at the end of the tunnel.