Plantar heel pain can be frustrating for the patient
As podiatrists one of the most common conditions we see is plantar heel pain. This can be a frustrating condition for both health professionals and patients. Because we weightbear and walk on our heels it is not a condition that we can simply rest and allow to heal easily.
So many of the patients we see with plantar heel pain have it chronically and many have tried other treatments without success. They are often amazed at our success when we treat this condition. To put it simply if your heel pain is not improving then it means something is not right or working. So let us examine why your heel pain may not be improving.
I have plantar fasciitis but it’s not responding?
This is often the first problem and unfortunately Dr. Google is generally at fault. So many patients present to us with self-diagnosed plantar fasciitis but often there is another cause or factor that is causing their heel pain.
Correct diagnosis of plantar heel pain helps identify the correct cause
Your heel pain will not respond unless it is correctly diagnosed first. Often the cause of chronic plantar heel pain is far more complex than just plantar fasciitis and often there is more than one diagnosis.
Diagnosis of plantar heel pain include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Nerve entrapment
- Fat pad bruising or impingement
- Heel bone bruising or bone marrow oedema
Our Melbourne podiatrists will correctly diagnose your plantar heel pain.
Identify the cause of plantar heel pain to get results
So your heel pain has finally been correctly diagnosed that doesn’t mean it is easy to treat. The important thing that needs to be identified is the correct cause of your plantar heel pain. This can often be tricky with so many potential causes and factors. Often the cause is unique to an individual and is often missed by inexperienced practitioners.
Some common causes of plantar heel pain include:
- Poor foot mechanics
- Poor footwear
- Reduced heel fat pad
- Poor orthotics
- Poor training
- Trauma or impingement
Often chronic plantar heel pain that is not responding is complex and can have more than one cause.
Our Melbourne podiatrists are experienced in plantar heel pain and will help identify the cause of your heel pain.
Successful treatment addresses the cause of the heel pain
Congratulations the cause of your heel pain has been identified. So which treatment is right? There are many treatments out there but a lot of them are second rate unless they are aimed at treating the cause of your heel pain.
For example the cause of your heel pain has been identified as poor footwear and poor foot mechanics. Is shock wave therapy addressing this cause? Most likely not but custom orthotics and new running shoes might.
So let us examine some common plantar heel pain or plantar fasciitis treatments.
“A grade” plantar heel pain treatments
The following treatments if applied in the correct circumstances can help treat the cause of your plantar heel pain:
“B grade” plantar heel pain treatments
The following treatments don’t treat the cause of the plantar heel pain. They often just provide short term pain relief and therapeutic benefits. Whilst they may still help somewhat they will not resolve your heel pain unless the cause is also being treated with an “A category” treatment.
- Cortisone injection
- Ultrasound therapy
- Laser therapy
- Shock wave therapy
Also it’s important to note that if you don’t address the true cause then there is a good chance of your heel pain returning in future.
Our Melbourne podiatrists will advise you on the best treatment to treat the cause of your heel pain.
We get results because we treat the cause of plantar heel pain
The reason why Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics has so much success in plantar heel pain treatment is that our podiatrists treat the cause of your plantar heel pain and here is a recent example:
I recently saw a patient who had a 2 year history of plantar heel pain that was not responding. Ultrasound scans and other practitioners diagnosed the condition as plantar fasciitis and treated it accordingly. The patient tried rest, stretching, cortisone injections and shock wave therapy with no improvement and became continually frustrated with the condition and the fact they couldn’t run or exercise. The reason why previous treatments failed was that the cause of heel pain had not yet been identified.
The patient came and saw me and we worked out that the heel pain was a combination of plantar fasciitis and nerve entrapment. We managed to identify that the cause of the nerve entrapment was an old pair of rigid custom orthotics which were over 10 years old. The patient thought their orthotics were still good as they were somewhat comfortable to wear but they had actually worn and lost their support, causing the patients foot to roll over the rigid heel cup of the orthotic leading to heel nerve entrapment. We prescribed the patient with new custom orthotics and guess what? Their heel pain finally started to improve and resolve. So simple but amazing what happens when you treat the cause!
So if you suffer from plantar heel pain and want results make an appointment with one of our friendly Melbourne podiatrists today!