Plantar Heel Pain

Plantar Heel Pain

What is it?

The fascia is a tough, fibrous connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot and transmits forces. It’s intricately attached to the heel, toes, and many of the surrounding muscles and structures on the sole of the foot. Additionally, the fascia plays a role in proprioception. Plantar heel pain, previously called plantar fasciitis, affects one in 10 people of all ages and activity levels. Despite previous beliefs, it’s now understood that plantar fasciitis is unlikely to be an inflammatory condition.


The chief complaint is usually sharp, localized pain on the inside of the heel, especially when getting up out of bed in the morning. While those first few steps can be quite sore, there tends to be a warm-up effect where the pain tends to subside after a few minutes of walking. Standing, walking, and running are all activities that may further aggravate symptoms, which can also be affected by footwear or terrain.


In order to design an effective management plan for plantar heel pain, it is crucial to understand its underlying cause. This approach greatly enhances the likelihood of a long-term solution. Moreover, it streamlines your symptom management program, making it less time-consuming and more targeted to your needs.

To help reduce your heel pain symptoms, we are likely to have you make small changes in your daily routine such as avoiding any barefoot time and modifying your exercise regimen by spending less overall time on your feet. This could involve cross-training via weightlifting, swimming, and/or cycling. Maintaining fitness levels without aggravating symptoms is key. However, it’s not necessary to completely avoid activities that trigger pain.

By understanding your normal weekly activity levels, we will help tailor the intensity, duration, or frequency of your activities. The steady progression of exercises that focus on calf and foot strength is critical for rehabilitation and preventing recurrence. The use of hands-on techniques, such as calf massage or dry needling, can offer pain relief, as can gel inserts in your shoes. Additionally, we might decide to use taping to offload the tissue. Your shoes may also be a contributing factor to your heel pain, so we may want to assess these during your appointment.

If heel pain is causing you discomfort, we are here to assist you. Our team of skilled physiotherapists can provide the necessary help to alleviate your pain. To see a full list of the services we provide, click here.

If you have any questions, contact our friendly reception staff at 9078 8434 or book your appointment through our online booking system Jane.

Published June 6, 2023


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