(Read to the end of the article if you have heel pain and would like to have a free initial consultation with a physiotherapist)
Heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis is a condition we commonly treat at Rozelle Physiotherapy.
The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that runs from the base of the heel to the toes. The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot and acts like a spring during normal walking.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
When there is too much load placed on the plantar fascia, such as an increase in exercise, walking on hard surfaces, poor footwear, abnormal biomechanics or an increase in body weight, then the plantar fascia can become painful. The pain is usually worst on the bottom of the heel and can be most severe with the first few steps in the morning or after spending a long time on your feet.
How Do Physios Treat Plantar Fasciitis?
Early treatment usually involves correcting the contributing factors by modifying load, improving the biomechanics of the foot and ankle, stretching tight muscles and improving the range of movement of the foot and ankle. We may also use soft tissue massage to improve the mobility of the calf muscles and plantar fascia, or dry needling of the plantar fascia.
Chronic Plantar Fasciitis and Shockwave Therapy
If the problem has been occurring for a long time, it can be particularly stubborn and difficult to treat. So as well as the above treatment, Rozelle Physiotherapy has recently started using extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) at the practice to help treat chronic plantar fasciitis. ESWT uses pressure waves to treat musculoskeletal conditions such as plantar fasciitis and tendinopathies. It is particularly useful when the condition is chronic.
Studies show that ESWT is safe and effective for reducing pain in chronic plantar fasciitis. Recent research comparing ESWT to corticosteroid injection for chronic plantar fasciitis found that ESWT had greater reduction in pain after 12 weeks compared to the corticosteroid injection group.
At Rozelle Physio we have also been finding that patients are having a good response to treatment with ESWT. Pain relief is often immediate after the session.
Usually treatment involves 1 session per week of 2000-3000 pulses for 4 weeks. At Rozelle Physio there is no additional charge for ESWT as part of physiotherapy treatment.
If you have had long term plantar fascia or tendon pain and would like to assess if Shockwave Treatment may be appropriate for you, use this link to click for a free initial consultation: