Switch has a physiotherapist and podiatrist in its clinics in Sydney that can help treat plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thick, weblike ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot that acts like a shock absorber, and supports the arch of your foot to help you walk. When someone is feeling pain on the bottom of their heel it is normally related to plantar fasciitis.
It will range in severity and every person’s situation is different but when people visit our clinic they would say it is a 7-8/10 with a mixture of sharp pains and aches. They usually experience sharp pains;
The sharpness will usually turn into a dull ache after they’ve moved around a bit and ‘warmed it up’. Although it often deters people from exercising because it’s worse the next day.
From our experience, it is a mechanical malfunction plus a trigger that will lead to heel pain. Patients won’t know about their mechanics but they usually relate to a trigger, especially when it causes pain. Some examples of this could be;
– Travelling and doing a lot more walking on different surfaces compared to what they are used to
– Using soft flexible shoes like Skechers which people often buy to relieve their heel pain but is actually feeding the mechanical malfunction element of the problem.
– sudden increase/decrease in body weight which puts pressure on vital joints
– sudden increase/decrease in activity; our bodies typically don’t like sudden changes
– worn out or the wrong shape of shoe that is not providing support or the required levels of shock absorption needed
We don’t make any assumptions at Switch when we have people visit our physio clinics in Sydney. We always start with the basics to discover what type of pain each patient is experiencing and we start to build an evidence-based approach to our treatment strategies.
If we suspect it is plantar fascilitis then some of the questions we will ask are;
While many people get surprised when they begin to get heel pain it is possible to avoid it and here are some of the ways this is possible
Stretch calves before and after high-intensity activity.
The most important thing to consider when looking to treat suspected plantar fasciitis pain is to get an accurate diagnosis from a podiatrist to ensure you get specific evidence based treatment.
Combining all of this with custom 3D orthotics can help create a holistic solution to taking care of the pain while ensuring a repeat is prevented to help the person achieve their goals.
This person began playing soccer again and was training once a week plus playing a game on the weekends. They presented to Switch with pain at the back of their heels which included sharp and stabbing pain when getting out of bed in the morning that would take a few steps to warm up.
It was much worse the morning after she played soccer and this had been happening for at least 4 years, it was something she had remembered from when she used to play but had to give it up because of the ongoing pain suffered.
So she was diagnosed with Mid-portion Achilles Tendinosis and treated with 6 x shockwave treatments, soft tissue release of her posterior chain, foot mobilisations and custom sport orthotics with a football boot change. The result is that she can play now without pain and feels ecstatic from the change – better yet, her team are winning their games and she is not pulling up anywhere near as sore the next day.
This male presented to SWITCH with incredibly sharp, debilitating pain in what felt like his heel. Has seen a previous podiatrist who diagnosed him with plantar fasciitis and treated him with shockwave therapy as well as getting him to change his shoes to a more supportive Asics sneaker.
The patient was still in a lot of pain, even to the point he was telling his partner he didn’t want to live like this. It was pretty evident whatever was going on was not just a plantar fasciopathy. His pain got worse during the day, not better or more tolerable.
During our assessment when palpating, his pain was around the inside of the ankle and not so much on the bottom of the heel anymore. He also had a positive result in a nerve test we conducted. What we eventually diagnosed was actually Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Explain what this is vs plantar fasciitis and put some context around how it was not diagnosed properly before
So at Switch, we treated his pain with;
He has been so grateful that we were able to completely change his daily life by correctly diagnosing the cause of the pain he was suffering.
There are a lot of diagnoses surrounding plantar heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis is the most overdiagnosed of them all. Oftentimes people are dealing with the chronic version called Plantar Fasciosis. It’s important an accurate diagnosis is made so you can recieve the right treatment. Other potential diagnoses that can occur with or instead of plantar fasciitis are plantar fascial strains and tears, Baxter’s neuritis, Tibialis posterior tendinopathy, tarsal tunnel syndrome, Kaegers fat pad impingement and trigger points in the plantar intrinsic muscles just to name a few!