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Heel Pain

Heel Pain

Do you have pain on the bottom of your foot when you first get out of bed?

Do you have heel pain when you just start your walk/run but then it eases off? Does it come back when you stop exercising?

You may have plantar heel pain.


What is the plantar fascia?

Plantar fascia is connective tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes.

Your plantar fascia plays a vital role in the normal movement of your foot and walking pattern. It is also important for providing shock absorption and support of your arch of your foot.


What is plantar Fasciitis?

Sometimes overloading the Plantar Fascia causes inflammation in the connective tissue resulting in pain and stiffness. This is often caused by a specific activity that overloaded the plantar fascia. There are also other factors that increase your risk of developing the condition which include:

  • Obesity
  • Tight calf muscles
  • A high arch
  • Repetitive activity
  • A new or increased activity.


How can physiotherapy help?

Early treatment usually involves offloading the tissue. This can include shoe inserts, taping, activity modifications, rest, massage and education. A strength training and stretching program will be given to you to assist your recovery. Your physiotherapist may also treat other areas such as your ankle, calf or knee to help improve your movement patterns.


What happens if my heel pain is because I have a bony growth at my heel?

Some people will be referred to get a scan, usually either an ultrasound or an X-ray. Sometimes, the scan will show a bony growth on your heel bone which is called the calcaneus. This is a clinical finding, which means that it is not necessarily the cause of your pain. 50% of people without heel pain have this bone spur and only 2/3rds of people with plantar heel pain have a heel bony growth.


My ultrasound showed significant thickening of my plantar fascia. That means it will take longer to heal.

This is false. Research suggests that the degree of thickening of the plantar fascia does not affect recovery time.


Will this go away?

Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover in several months with conservative treatment.


If you would like help with your heel pain, contact us today.


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