Pain in your heel limiting you from living your life!?
Pain when you first get up in the morning?
Long walks or runs causing you to hobble?
Struggling to stand up for long periods at work?
Maybe the pain is manageable, but you’re concerned about it getting worse?
Not all heel pain is the same
Commonly called plantar fasciitis (after the plantar fascia, the big band of tissue in your heel and foot), pain in your heel is an incredibly common condition with most people having some form of it in their lifetime.
However not all heel pain is the same.
There are many different structures in and around your heel that could be the cause of your pain.
There’s also a significant difference between how we treat each condition, so there’s no one size fits all.
If you’ve had heel pain for more than 4 weeks, episodes of pain that keep coming back, not getting better with treatments recommend online or are concerned about it getting worse, it’s worthwhile getting an assessment and targeted treatment plan.
Personalised treatment plans
My approach is simple. Everyone is different and therefore requires unique solutions.
An appointment with me involves finding out about your problem, how it’s impacting you and your daily activities. We’ll also talk about your lifestyle, what you’d be doing if you didn’t have pain and how I can best address your concerns.
I’ll perform a thorough assessment of your heel, how you move, a walking analysis, look at your footwear and also check previous orthotics and scans of your feet, if you have them.
I’ll then have all I need to craft a treatment plan personalised specifically to you and your goals. We’ll go through what I think is causing your pain, your treatment options and together craft a plan based on your needs and preferences.
Complete rehabilitation service
I’ve spent the last 10 years expanding my knowledge and skills so I can offer the full range of non-surgical treatments for heel pain.
This means everyone gets access to what they need in one spot!
- Gait (walking and running) analysis
- Custom and pre-fabricated foot orthoses
- Rehabilitation and physical therapies
- Imaging and injection referrals
- Immobilisation (moon) boots
- Night splints
- Compression socks
- Self-management advice
Getting back to activity and preventing pain from returning!
Not only do you want to be pain free, you want to return to your life and don’t want pain to return!
My treatment plans are built around getting you back to doing more quickly and sustainably. Whether that’s playing in the John Dent Cup, getting out in the garden more frequently, or anywhere in between. Recovery is when you’re back to doing what you love, not just when pain subsides.
Along our journey together, I’ll be giving you the knowledge and tools you need so when we finish together, you’ll know how to prevent pain from returning and what to do if it starts creeping back in!
Experienced and trusted
Since 2020 I’ve been delivering lectures, webinars and workshops on heel pain, exercise rehabilitation and how we can get patients back to living life faster and more sustainably to national and international audiences.
I’ve presented my work at multiple conferences, most recently as an invited workshop presenter at the 2022 Sports and Exercise Podiatry Australia conference and the UK based Foot and Ankle Show.
I’m now also a committee member for Sports Medicine Australia, helping plan and develop professional education for healthcare providers in the ACT.
What People Are Saying
Insurance and Third Party Payers
I accept insurance and third party payments from most organisations, including:
- Private Health Funds with on the spot claiming
- Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Plans
- Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA)
- Workplace injury insurers
- Limited to self-managed and plan-managed participants
If you have a third party who’ll be paying for your appointments, please contact me prior to booking your appointment to organise the paperwork and provide a quote (if required).
Frequently Asked QUestions
It’s commonly thought that heel pain takes 12 months to go away. That you just have to deal with it for that period of time.
I don’t think that’s the case.
Heel pain is really common and some people may have small bouts of pain, over 2-3 weeks to 1-2 months. Others will have pain for 6-12 months before the condition is no longer felt. There’s a small group of people where it takes even longer!
We refer to this period of time as the conditions ‘natural history’, i.e. that if we don’t intervene, some people will have a shorter bout of the condition, others longer.
There’s some factors we know are more likely to predict if you’ll have it for longer. These are:
– If the pain is in both heels
– You have a flatter or more pronated foot type
– You’ve already had it for 6 months (meaning if it’s stuck around for 6 months, it’s unlikely to settle down quickly after that)
Because of this idea that a bout of heel pain only lasts 6-12 months, it’s common I see people get the advice that they should just wait it out and deal with the pain.
I don’t agree.
This advice is given because in our research, it says that on average, nearly all treatments for heel pain doesn’t result in less pain at the 12 month and 24 month mark, compared to people that don’t get treatment. That the benefit is only in the short to medium term. Which you can read it as, well then don’t treat it. It can also be read in a way that says our treatments are temporary, but can provide a good amount of relief while you’re suffering.
In the clinic, I also see people that aren’t ‘average’ and without treatment, continue to worsen.
So the general advice I give to people is:
– If heel pain is limiting your ability to do your job, tasks around the house, or things that you enjoy, I think it’s worthwhile getting seen and treated.
– If heel pain is continuing to get worse, not better, I think it’s worthwhile getting seen and treated.
– If heel pain is causing you a lot of concern, I think it’s worthwhile at least getting seen and discuss what is happening and make an informed decision about what you want to do about your pain.
The most common cause of pain in the heel is to do with a thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia. When injured or irritated, it’s common to get pain when you first get up in the morning or after a rest. It’s also common that it eases when you start walking ro moving around.
If it isn’t sore when you first get up from bed or rest and gets more sore the more you stand or walk on it, it’s less likely it’s the plantar fascia that’s causing the pain. There’s a number of other potential causes such as bruising of the fat pad or heel bone.
While plantar fascia related pain can settle down over time without getting treatment, other causes are less likely. It’s worthwhile getting an assessment by a healthcare provider, such as myself, so we can figure out what is causing the pain and how we can best treat it.
No. If you have heel pain, you don’t need orthotics to get better.
For about ~50% of people, foot orthotics can be helpful, provide relief and keep them active. For the other ~50%, they may not provide much relief and for a smaller amount of people, not actually be comfortable and helpful at all!
A general explanation of how they work is to do with the plantar fascia, the most common cause of heel pain. It’s a thick band of tissue under the foot, that helps hold up the arch. When standing and moving, the plantar fascia stretches and absorbs force and then acts like a spring to pull the arch back up.
The plantar fascia is really strong and does this work most of people’s lives without any issues. It can become irritated or injured, meaning it’s sore to do these movements.
Foot orthotics can help by absorbing some of that force, so the plantar fascia doesn’t have to do as much work. It can also reduce how much the arch moves, or act like a spring itself, meaning again, the plantar fascia doesn’t do as much work.
For people who’re standing for long periods this can be really helpful as the plantar fascia can remain under stretching tension for that time. Foot orthotics can relieve this pressure.
For people who walk or jog a lot, there’s a lot of repeated shock absorbing and releasing tension, which foot orthoses can help with.
For people who run faster and longer distances, it may be helpful. But we also know that runners spend a lot more time with their feet in the air than on the ground, so foot orthotics aren’t helping as much. I also see some runners find it more difficult to adapt to foot orthotics.
My process when thinking about foot orthotics is to work with my patients to understand if foot orthotics are going to be helpful, what are their other treatment options and decide together what the best plan is for them.
Located inside Sportscare Barton
7a/3 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, Australia
Monday – Thursday: 8am-6pm