Plantar heel pain, commonly known as Plantar Fasciitis or Plantar Fasciopathy, is a condition that is estimated to impact 1 in 10 people in their lifetime.

Plantar heel pain presents with pain around the underside of the calcaneus (heel bone), usually on the inside or central aspect.

Plantar heel pain sufferers often report the following symptoms:

  • Pain and stiffness upon the first steps of the morning and/or and after resting
  • Pain that increases with exercise such as walking, or running

Pain symptoms can vary from severe, sharp pain, to consistent dull throbbing pain. Symptoms are also often described as feeling like a “bone bruise”.

What causes plantar heel pain?

Currently it’s poorly understood what causes plantar heel pain, but it is often multifactorial. A common cause is an increase in load such as running longer distances, consistently walking further than you have previously or spending more hours on your feet for work. This increase in load applies force through the plantar fascia, which is greater than it can handle – resulting in subsequent pain. It is important to note the muscles of the arch and calves work closely with the plantar fascia, meaning added stress and fatigue to these muscles will increase load on the plantar fascia.

How do we diagnose heel pain?

A plantar heel pain diagnosis can be made at the Wollongong Foot and Ankle Centre, where we take a multidisciplinary approach. This approach includes:

  • Thorough history taking
  • Presenting symptoms
  • Diagnostic ultrasound
  • Further assessment, diagnosis and plan with treating Specialist and Podiatry team

How can we treat heel pain?

At the Wollongong Foot and Ankle Centre, we take a progressive approach to make improvements in your heel pain symptoms. Our approach varies on your severity of pain, duration of pain, and previously tried treatments. The decision on which approach is most applicable to your individual needs is made between you and the treating Specialist or Podiatrist.

Heel pain treatment options available at the Wollongong Foot and Ankle Centre include:

  • Foot and ankle strengthening exercises
  • Botox injection
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Manual therapy – dry needling, joint mobilisation, muscle release techniques
  • Custom Foot Orthotics
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Surgical intervention (plantar fascia release)

Get in touch with the Patient Services Team at the Wollongong Foot and Ankle Centre to get the help you need with your plantar heel pain!