Plantar Heel Pain

At Foot Factor Podiatry, one of the most common conditions our clients present to us with is “Plantar Heel Pain”. Plantar heel pain refers to pain under the heel – on the bottom surface of the foot.

You may view our information flyer here: or read on for more information.

   You may have heard of people experiencing pain due to:

Plantar fasciitis

Heel spur syndrome

Policemans heel

Runners heel

Stone bruise in the heel

All of these are forms of “Plantar Heel Pain”.

          

 

 

Did you know heel spurs usually don’t cause pain. In 95% of plantar heel pain cases the pain experienced is due to a soft tissue injury.

 

What would I feel if I had “Plantar Heel Pain”?

If you have ever suffered from “Plantar Heel Pain”, or are hobbling around with it at the moment you will find that you may be experiencing some or all of the following:

  • Pain felt in the bottom of the heel
  • Pain is often worse when first getting out of bed, or when standing after sitting
  • However, pain can occur all day
  • It can feel like a bruise or a sharp stabbing pain

 

How did I end up with “Plantar Heel Pain”?

It is sometimes difficult to pinpoint a cause of the heel pain – sometimes because people have been experiencing it for months or even years, however the most likely causes for “Plantar Heel Pain” can be:

  • Related to an overuse or change of load through the foot. For example:
    • Increasing exercise
    • Change in work requirements and on feet more
    • Change in footwear
  • Could also be a minor injury, and as we need to continue to walk it doesn’t heal and can get worse
  • Related to tightness in the calf muscles
  • People with both flat feet AND high arches can experience plantar heel pain

 

If left untreated, the average time for “Plantar heel pain” to go away is over 12 months, but it can last up to 4 years!

 

How can I help fix my ‘Plantar Heel Pain”?

There are many things you can do at home to try and overcome the pain of “Plantar Heel Pain”. Some of these include:

 

How Foot Factor Podiatry help with my “Plantar Heel Pain”?

At Foot Factor we help people every day with “Plantar Heel Pain”. We will gently examine your feet and determine the cause of your heel pain. Using the latest evidence-based treatments we construct individualised treatment plans for our clients to help them overcome “Plantar Heel Pain”. We can use a combination of:

  • Offloading strapping or padding
  • Foot mobilisation
  • Dry needling
  • Footwear advice
  • Recommend exercise and stretching regime
  • Advice regarding current exercise programme
  • Orthotics
  • FS6 sock

Callus and corns – what is the difference?

You might notice some heel cracks, or dry, hard skin under your feet, or on your toes, or in between your toes. It may even be painful.

But what is it?

And how can I get rid of it?

Chances are you either have callus, or corns.

Callus, or hyperkeratosis as often referred to as by doctors, is a hard, thickened, yellowish plaque of skin.

It is commonly found underneath the feet on weight-bearing/high pressure areas.

Callus can be painful to walk on and the cause of much discomfort.

Heavy callus on the heels can even result in the skin cracking and bleeding.

Some people have described feeling like they’re walking on stones, or may even notice stabbing pain or aching.

Corns are darker, harder areas of skin that have a deep center/core piercing into the deeper layers of the skin.

Corns can appear either with or without callus, and are frequently very painful.

Similarly to callus, corns tend to appear on pressure bearing areas of the feet, either a weight bearing area, or where shoes are rubbing, or even your own toes rubbing against each other.

Patients often describe the sensation of something sharp stuck in the skin/shoe, or even something digging into the foot, like a small stone.

In long standing cases, the pressure can result in the skin breaking down under the corn, resulting in an ulcer.

To relieve the pain and pressure, the core needs to be dug out/enucleated.

                       

As both corns and callus are a result of pressure, to “get rid of” them permanently is often difficult as the pressure needs to be removed. However, the pain discomfort and unsightly appearance can be removed instantaneously by seeing a podiatrist.

Initially, the best treatment for callus is to see a podiatrist. They will remove all callused skin from your feet, leaving you with lovely smooth skin. The podiatrist will then advise on the best maintenance treatment for you. This may involve specially recommended foot creams for the type of callus you have, and/or the use of a file or pumice stone. The podiatrist may also recommend footwear changes to assist in reducing the callus and corn regrowth. When the callus or corn regrows to a painful level it is ideal to revisit your podiatrist.

As a side note, you may be familiar with some chemist treatment for corn or callus removal, please be aware that some of these products contain acids aimed at burning away the hard skin of the callus or corn. If the treatment area is larger than the callus or corn, it will burn your good skin and you can end up with a more serious injury, sometimes even an ulcer. These treatments do come with a warning for people with diabetes, or peripheral neuropathy, but even if you do not have one of these conditions, please be mindful if you choose to use them.

 

Exercise – What You NEED to Know

Exercise. A dreaded word for most, but we all know that it is good for us! And now that the weather is starting to warm up, there should be no excuse not to go out and enjoy a spot of Vitamin D!

I’m sure you know the benefits of exercise, but let’s do a quick rehash and hopefully motivate you into starting a regular routine!

  • Improved heart function and circulation
    • Plus, this can reduce the occurrences of ischaemic heart disease!
  • Improved breathing and lung function
  • Improves blood sugar control
    • This could reduce the need for medication!
  • Improves joint mobility, muscle strength, as well as bone mass and density
  • Lowers blood pressure, LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff!) and obesity
  • Reduced anxiety, depression, and fears of falling/instability
    • With better body image and strength, why wouldn’t you feel good?

And if all that wasn’t enough to motivate you, how about this little fact?

Just a 20 minute walk 3 times a week is enough to improve your circulation!

See, you don’t even have to do too much at all!

Alright, so now that we’ve (hopefully) got you motivated, I’ll leave you with a couple of tips to get you on your way, and to help prevent injuries.

  • Warm-up

 

    • This prepares you by increasing oxygen and blood flow to the muscles, and increasing overall efficiency with better flexibility and range of motion, just to name a few! An effective warm-up is simple and can just consist of some general exercises like jogging or stationary cycling, combined with stretching.
  • Wear good shoes

 

    • Good shoes don’t necessarily mean expensive shoes. It should just be suitable for your foot type, and be able to provide you with sufficient support, cushioning and shock absorption for the exercise you are about to do. If you are unsure about your shoes, let your podiatrist know and they will be more than happy to do a footwear assessment and provide advice!
  • Begin slowly

 

With any new exercise routine you want to make sure that you increase the amount you do slowly and let your body get used to the new load and forces it has to deal with. This will help to prevent an overuse injury. Even elite athletes do this after a Christmas break or similar break as it is proven to prevent injury and keep them functioning at their best.

Hypermobility

We have had a few clients this past week that have presented with hypermobility related issues that are affecting the way they are walking.  Read below to find out some more information about how it can affect you or your children!

One of the tests for hypermobility

 

Have you noticed that you or your child seem to have poor balance and/or coordination? Or maybe you hang back and seem disinterested when it comes to sports or activities? Well, a possible reason for this could be joint hypermobility, otherwise known as ligamentous laxity, or in layman’s terms, double-jointedness or floppy, loose joints.

 

 

 

What To Look Out For

Now bear in mind that it is normal for children to be more “floppy” than adults. After all, when we are still young (<4 years), all the bones our feet aren’t fully formed yet! However, if you’re suspecting you or your child might be “overly floppy”, here are some signs/symptoms to look out for:

  • Poor balance/coordination – constant tripping or falling
  • Disinterest or lack of participation in sports and activities
  • Muscle fatigue with generalised aches and joint pain – might be confused with “growing pains”
  • Frequent sprains, rolled ankles, dislocations and injuries
  • Flat feet – due to the lax ligaments allowing the arch to flatten/”flop”
  • Kids waking at night complaining of sore legs or asking to be massaged

Hypermobility doesn’t necessarily cause pain or problems. In fact, in most cases, we tend to lose some of the flexibility as we get older. However, if we are experiencing aches and pains, or if we have a lack of balance and coordination, then treatment is highly recommended. Usually the younger we are when we start treatment, the better the outcome. With that being said, hypermobility can sometimes carry over into adulthood and cause similar problems or musculoskeletal complaints.

At Foot Factor Podiatry, our podiatrists spend time assessing the foot mechanics, and prescribe individualised treatment plans. These can include a range of treatment options depending on the patient’s needs, such as exercises to improve balance, coordination and walking, footwear advice and if required, in-shoe padding or orthotic therapy to provide stability, support and pain relief, as well as correction of poor foot mechanics associated with flat feet and muscular/ligamentous overuse.

If you’re concerned you or your child may have hypermobility or are displaying any of the above symptoms, call 3133 8143 now for an assessment at Foot Factor Podiatry:

1/1 Laurinda Cres, Springwood;                       OR                   2/124 Orange Grove Rd, Coopers Plains.

Don’t let pain restrict your participation in life!

 

Plantar Heel Pain – OUCH!!

Plantar Heel Pain – Ouch!Plantar fasciits heel spur

Plantar Heel Pain is one of the more common reason our clients come to see us at Foot Factor Podiatry.

It is often described as pain in the heel/heels in the morning when getting out of bed, causing people to limp for the first 20 or so steps; and then being painful later in the day when first standing after a period of sitting.  As the condition progresses, it is not uncommon to find the heel pain affecting you more consistently throughout the day.

Plantar heel pain can be debilitating to say the least.  And, because we don’t get the chance to “rest our feet”, it often doesn’t go away without treatment.

There are numerous terms used to describe Plantar Heel Pain – some of which you may have heard of before: Plantar fasciitis, heel spur, bruised heel, bursitis under the heel, policeman’s heel to name a few.

So, What Causes It

Plantar Heel Pain has numerous causes. Some of the more common causes are:

  • an increase in exercise or change in activity
  • inadequate footwear
  • an injury or strain that hasn’t had the chance to heal
  • Feet that are rolling in (pronated)
  • Feet that are rolling out (supinated feet)
  • Tight calve muscles
  • Foot joints not working as they should.

How to Eliminate Pain

Plantar heel pain will not go away on its own.  However, in most cases it can be easily treated, usually with minimal discomfort, and with an immediate significant improvement.

If you believe you are suffering from plantar heel pain, you should see a podiatrist. At Foot Factor Podiatry we treat the cause of your plantar heel pain, not just the symptoms.  Using the latest evidence based treatments selected upon individual requirements, all podiatrists at Foot Factor Podiatry can implement:

  • dry needling
  • foot mobilisation and manipulative techniques
  • plantar fascial stretching and fascial release,
  • at-home exercises
  • footwear advice
  • orthotic therapy.

Our podiatrists will spend time assessing your foot mechanics and prescribe you an individualised treatment plan.

We’ve relieved many patients from the pain of plantar heel pain.  If you are concerned, book yourself in with our podiatrists, at Foot Factor Podiatry, Springwood or Coopers Plains by phoning:     07 3133 8134.

Don’t let pain restrict your participation in life!