Plantar heel pain (pain under the heel) is a very common condition affecting approximately 15% of all adults with foot pain.
- Do you have heel pain when rising from bed in the morning or after a period of sitting?
- Does your heel pain worsen toward the end of the day or after prolonged activity?
- Does your heel pain ache all day?
- Does your heel pain prevent you from exercising or doing physical activities you would usually do?
- Have you experienced heel pain for longer than 3-4 days?
- Do you find it difficult to stand at work because of your plantar heel pain?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it is likely that you are experiencing one or more of the many conditions that cause chronic plantar heel pain. This condition is NOT difficult to treat.
There are several conditions that can cause plantar heel pain (in one or both heels); including plantar fasciitis, stress fracture of the heel bone (calcaneus), tear of the plantar fascia and bruising of the fat pad. Podiatrists at Northern Foot Clinic treat clients with these conditions everyday.
Important things you should know about heel pain
What will the podiatrists at Northern Foot Clinic do?
- take a thorough medical and exercise history from you
- examine your plantar heel and surrounding anatomy to establish a diagnosis
- observe your walking or running gait and evaluate your footwear
- may prescribe x-rays or other types of imaging if absolutely necessary
- What will happen once the cause has been diagnosed?
The podiatrist will:
- explain why you have developed plantar heel pain (i.e. what are the risk factors affecting your feet)
- offer you the most effective treatment options (based on high quality research evidence and clinical expertise)
- explain the cost of each treatment options
- estimate how long it will take you to recover from your heel pain and return to full activities
What will happen if I just put up with the pain and see what happens?
Some research trials indicate that (for some types of heel pain) if you do nothing at all, your heel pain may resolve within 12 months. However, we often see clients who have experienced heel pain for several years.
Where can I find more information about plantar heel pain?
We recommend the following website (high-quality and independent information for consumers) for more detail about plantar heel pain
Call Northern Foot Clinic today to arrange an appointment with a podiatrist and get professional treatment for your heel pain — (03) 9004 2342
For other health professionals — here is some high-level evidence for the assessment and treatment of plantar heel pain
Landorf KB, Keenan AM, Herbert RD: Effectiveness of foot orthoses to treat plantar fasciitis: a randomized trial. Archives of internal medicine 2006, 166(12):1305-1310.
McMillan AM, Landorf KB, Barrett JT, Menz HB, Bird AR: Diagnostic imaging for chronic plantar heel pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of foot and ankle research 2009, 2:32.
Radford JA, Landorf KB, Buchbinder R, Cook C: Effectiveness of low-Dye taping for the short-term treatment of plantar heel pain: a randomised trial. BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2006, 7:64.
Rathleff MS, Molgaard CM, Fredberg U, Kaalund S, Andersen KB, Jensen TT, Aaskov S, Olesen JL: High-load strength training improves outcome in patients with plantar fasciitis: A randomized controlled trial with 12-month follow-up. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports 2014.
Cotchett MP, Munteanu SE, Landorf KB: Effectiveness of trigger point dry needling for plantar heel pain: a randomized controlled trial. Physical therapy 2014, 94(8):1083-1094.
McMillan AM, Landorf KB, Gilheany MF, Bird AR, Morrow AD, Menz HB: Ultrasound guided corticosteroid injection for plantar fasciitis: randomised controlled trial. Bmj 2012, 344:e3260.
Aqil A, Siddiqui MR, Solan M, Redfern DJ, Gulati V, Cobb JP: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is effective in treating chronic plantar fasciitis: a meta-analysis of RCTs. Clinical orthopaedics and related research 2013, 471(11):3645-3652