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Category: lower limb complaints
Plantar Fasciitis REVIEWED
Feet play an important role in posture and gait. Foot pathologies are common amongst the adult population, in particular plantar heel pain. Foot pathologies contribute to a negative impact on quality of life. Plantar heel pain (or Plantar Fasciitis) is a common musculoskeletal foot injury and the most common condition presenting to our Townsville Podiatry clinic. Below is a summary of a recent review of the research on plantar heel pain. Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Pain here. Review of research on Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Pain Plantar heel pain is most common between 40 and 60 years and may affect both athletic and non-athletic populations, but the incidence is higher among runners (affecting 17.4% of running population). The pathology is characterized by pain in the medial (inside) heel that is exacerbated by weight-bearing activity, as well as after periods of rest. Plantar Heel Pain is often chronic with typical symptoms lasting more than a year. Despite the name “Plantar Fasciitis” – the condition is considered a degenerative pathology rather than a primary inflammatory condition. Therefore, the more correct terms which should be used from now on are fasciosis or fasiopathy or plantar heel pain. Authors found that while Body Mass Index (BMI) was not associated with plantar fasciitis in the athletic population, there was evidence to support such an association in the non-athletic population. Muscle function and muscle size differences between those with and without plantar fasciitis was reviewed in seven studies - and the strength of muscle groups including hallux plantar flexion, lesser toe plantar flexion, ankle dorsiflexion, ankle inversion, and ankle eversion was lower in patients with plantar fasciitis. Studies found that patients with plantar fasciitis were more likely to have increased plantar fascia thickness, hypoechogenicity, and plantar calcaneal spurs. Patients with plantar fasciitis had 2.16 mm thicker plantar fascia than controls and tended to have absolute plantar fascia thickness values exceeding 4.0 mm. Review of Treatments for Plantar Heel Pain Corticosteroid Injections: Corticosteroid injections have been used for the treatment of plantar fasciitis as it can reduce inflammation, fibroblast proliferation and ground substance proteins, which have been thought to play roles in pathogenesis of plantar fasciitis. The review of the literature concluded that compared to placebo, corticosteroid injection was more effective in relieving pain at one month but not over longer intervals. Among 21 trials that reported adverse events, two ruptures of plantar fascia, three injection site infections, and 27 minor adverse events such as post-injection pain were reported. ESWT Extra-Corpeal Shockwave Therapy: The proposed mechanisms for the effect of ESWT include increasing nerve supply, blood supply and collagen synthesis in degenerative tissues. Shockwave reportedly have benefits in pain reduction at 12 weeks, unlike corticosteroid injections. ESWT showed greater reduction in VAS pain scores and success rate of improving heel pain by 60% over placebo when taking first steps and during daily activities. The most recent of studies compared ESWT with other therapies and found greater success rate, greater reduction in VAS pain scores, decreased return to work time, greater overall reduction in plantar fascia thickness up to 6 months post-treatment and less complications in those treated with ESWT compared to other interventions. The 39 studies concluded that while there may be common side effects such as pain during treatment and transient erythema (redness), complications during the first year of follow-up are highly unlikely and concluded that Shockwave Therapy is safe for treating plantar fasciitis. Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LLLT is a form of photobiomodulation therapy that involves the use of wavelengths ranging from 620 nm to the infrared (820–904 nm) over the surface of patient’s skin. The proposed mechanisms include anti-inflammatory effect as well as stimulation of cell proliferation, microcirculation, vascular neoformation, and collagen production . Fewer studies have been conducted on the efficacy of LLLT in the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis, however the systematic reviews that have been done found that LLLT significantly improved pain and function and decreased plantar fascia thickness compared to other therapies, such as exercise. In Summary Regarding treatment efficacy for management of plantar fasciitis, outcomes using corticosteroid, PRP, and ESWT may have the largest number of studies and most reviews concluded longer-term outcomes favoured non-corticosteroid interventions. Similar to tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis has been characterized by degeneration of collagen even though inflammation may play an important role in the early disease process. However, this does not mean that inflammation and degeneration represent a continuum of disease but reflect two distinct or often coexisting processes. Therefore, corticosteroids may offer benefits in short term particularly within 1 month following treatment. By Hayley Paterson | Biomechanical Podiatrist A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews on the Epidemiology, Evaluation, and Treatment of Plantar FasciitisHye Chang Rhim 1,† , Jangwon Kwon 2,†, Jewel Park 3, Joanne Borg-Stein 4,5 and Adam S. Tenforde 4,5,*Read More
Townsville Heel Pain Clinic
Welcome to Townsville’s Heel Pain clinic where we pride ourselves on the non-surgical, effective treatment of your heel pain. Heel Pain is the # 1 condition we treat on a daily basis at Foundation Podiatry - in fact over the last 15 years here in Townsville we have helped 8000+ happy campers resolve their heel pain and get back to enjoying their active lifestyle! [feature-block] Do you wake up in the morning limping from a painful heel? Feeling frustrated as you can’t exercise or chase the grandkids around? Have you tried other treatments and nothing seems to be working? Want to avoid a big needle… or even worse… surgery? [/feature-block]Read More
Is your child complaining of knee pain or foot problems?
As parents, we all want the best for our children. Nothing is more concerning than our children in pain. Children’s feet differ from those of adults, as they are still growing. As a parent, it’s easy to think your child is experiencing growing pains and overlook this, however, it could also be an overuse injury. If your child is suffering from any lower leg symptoms, exhibits an awkward gait or walk, has flat feet, uneven shoe wear, poor posture and stability or complaining of pain then you should schedule a consultation with one of our Podiatrists. Overuse injuries can affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and growth plates. In children these structures are vulnerable as they are still growing. Want to learn more about overuse injuries? Contact us today. Common Overuse Injuries in Children The three most common overuse injuries causing foot, knee and leg pain in Children are: Severs Disease (affecting the heel bone) Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease (affecting the knee) Iselin's Disease (affecting 5th metatarsal) What Is Severs Disease? Severs disease (now more correctly termed Calcaneal Apophysitis) is not an actual disease but the irritation of the growth plate in the heel bone in children. The growth plate is a layer of cartilage near the end of a bone where the bone grows in length. It is weaker and more at risk for injury than the rest of the bone. Severs Disease often occurs during a growth spurt, when the bones, muscles, and tendons grow at different rates. Not all children will get heel pain, however, those that do will eventually grow out of the condition when the growth slows down. Our Podiatrists will offer the best treatment solutions aimed at reducing pain, improving stability, strength and flexibility – keeping your child on the sporting field. What is Osgood-Schlatters Disease? Osgood-Schlatter disease (again not an actual disease) is the irritation of the growth plate at the top of the shinbone. OSD typically causes pain and swelling below the kneecap. The pain usually gets worse with running, jumping, going up stairs, and walking up hills. It is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems seen in adolescents. It is most common in 10-15-year-olds but can be also seen outside of these ages, especially if a child has an early or late growth spurt. It is usually associated with high levels of physical activity, especially high-impact sports such as basketball or football. Want to learn more about common injuries leading to knee pain and foot pain in children? Common signs of an Overuse Injury in children It is important to be aware of the more common signs of an overuse injury. These include: Pain – Especially pain that cannot be associated to an injury, such as from a fall or a contact in a sport. This pain often increases with activity. Painful limp or protective walk Decreased interest in activity or sport Treatments for Lower limb Overuse Injuries in Children and Adolescents Activity modification may be necessary (reduced intensity or reduced training days) Adequate water and food intake and sleep Improve footwear Address lower limb biomechanics if contributing factor – if your child has poor foot posture, tight muscles or joint hypermobility they may be more prone to getting overuse injuries. Want to learn more about our varied treatment options for children’s foot pain and lower leg pain? When Should I Bring My Child to see a Podiatrist? Podiatrists play an important role in addressing concerns with children’s feet and lower limbs, their walking and running patterns and gross motor development. Children’s feet and legs are more malleable to change when they are younger, often making treatments more effective at a younger age. If required, early Podiatry treatment can improve children’s strength and coordination and reduce the likelihood of foot and lower limb problems occurring in adulthood. Many children’s foot and leg issues can be simply addressed when caught early on. With the right treatment, this ensures that your child is moving well, and that they are healthy and happy in the long term. [feature-block] Does your child suffer from knee pain or feet problems? Book an appointment with Foundation Podiatry today, so they can get back to everything they enjoy – pain free! Book Now [/feature-block]Read More
Why am I suffering from heel pain?
When heel pain and discomfort becomes an issue, it can be a major disruption to your day-to-day routine, especially if you lead a busy, active life. Let’s face it; we need our feet and legs for the most basic daily tasks, whether it’s driving, exercising or simply walking. When you’re suffering from heel pain, all these basic tasks can become much more challenging, and that can have negative consequences on your quality of life. Foundation Podiatry is Townsville’s Heel Pain clinic where we pride ourselves on the non-surgical, effective treatment of your heel pain. Contact us for more information. What is Heel pain? Heel pain is one of the most common complaints we receive from our patients. As Podiatrists we see this problem every day ranging from children to adults. Overuse or injury to the heel may trigger heel pain. This can range anywhere from mild to disabling. The overwhelming majority of heel pain in adults can be attributed to one condition, Plantar Fasciitis. The pain commonly occurs at the bottom of the foot called the plantar surface and may extend into the arch of the foot. What causes Heel pain? Often there has been an increase in load placed on your lower limb that your body has not had the capacity to deal with resulting in injury. This increase in load may include: Jobs that require lots of walking on hard surfaces Prolonged barefoot on hard surfaces Starting a new exercise program; or increasing your training intensity/volume or style Weight gain Wearing old, worn out footwear; high heels Certain foot types may increase your likelihood of developing heel pain – such as tight calf muscles, weak intrinsic foot muscles, high arch rigid feet with poor shock absorption etc. Certain factors may increase the risk of developing heel pain and/or impair your body’s own ability to repair the injury – such as Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, menopause, obesity, old age, stress, inadequate sleep. Heel pain can occur from a one-time incident/injury however it is much more likely due to an overuse injury. Do you suffer from heel pain? Contact us today to get a treatment plan in order. What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis? Heel pain usually affects just one foot, but it can affect both feet. Common symptoms may include: Pain under the heel which may extend into the arch Heel pain is usually worse the first few steps in the morning and after rest periods during the day Heel pain often aggravated by prolonged standing, walking or running, especially on hard surfaces As the condition progresses, patients may experience burning, numbness and throbbing around the heel when resting at night What is the best treatment for heel pain? Heel pain is a common condition yet complex in nature, where a ‘one size fits all’ treatment approach often fails. How we manage heel pain for one person may be quite different to the next person. We take into consideration factors such has occupation, age, body weight, how long have you had heel pain for, how capable is your body of healing itself? After a detailed Initial Biomechanical Assessment at Foundation Podiatry Townsville, we will be able to recommend to most appropriate treatment for your heel pain. We utilise the latest treatment options with a personalised approach to make you pain free in the shortest possible time! Treatment options for heel pain may include: Medical Laser Therapy Shockwave Therapy Mobility, Balance & Strength exercises Medical Acupuncture Custom Foot Orthoses What can I do to reduce the likelihood of developing heel pain in the first place? Wear suitable footwear (avoid high heels and pointy toes) Reduce barefoot time on hard surfaces (but don’t avoid barefoot altogether) Stretch calf muscles regularly Roll/ massage plantar surface of foot regularly Slowly increase intensity/ frequency of exercise Maintain a healthy body weight How Can Foundation Podiatry Help You? At Foundation Podiatry, we pride ourselves on being a locally owned and operated business. Our Podiatrists, Hayley, Chris and Emma have over 45 years’ combined experience working with heel pain and other complex foot, ankle and lower limb conditions. We treat people as individuals and offer specific treatment options for specific needs. If you’re suffering from heel pain, get in touch with us to see how our varied treatment options and personalised approach can help you.Read More
Running Related Injuries
Image A is an injured runner displaying contralateral pelvic drop – that is, the hip/pelvis on the non-weight bearing limb drops lower than the weight bearing limb during the stance phase which results in an inward position of the knee and subsequent increase in foot pronation (rolling inwards). This position has been linked to developing pain at the front (patellofemoral pain) and at the side (ITB friction syndrome) of the knee, shin splints and achilles tendon pain. Image B is a healthy runner who is not displaying contralateral pelvic drop.Read More
Medical Laser therapy explained
Medical Laser Therapy is the application of red and near infrared light over an injured site to promote tissue healing. Hayley shares in her video: How it works Conditions we use Medical Laser on in our clinic Why we love it!Read More
Hayley shares the down-low on Shockwave Therapy
Extracorpeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a treatment modality used to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain. Shockwave Therapy sends sound waves into the injured tissue to accelerate healing. Persistent Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain) and chronic achilles tendon pain are the most well-researched and the most commonly treated conditions with shockwave therapy. Hayley shares in her video:> Conditions we use Shockwave therapy for in our clinic> How it works > Why it's the bomb for chronic injuries!Read More
Medical Laser therapy in the management of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis (now more correctly termed plantar fasciopathy or plantar heel pain) is a common cause of heel pain in adults. With plantar heel pain the plantar fascia becomes weakened and degenerative causing pain where it inserts into the heel bone. This pain often occurs due to an increase in load on the feet, increase &/or change in training style/volume, over-pronated foot type and restricted ankle joint or tight posterior chain. Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis hereRead More
I have heel pain - I must have a heel spur!
A very common question I get asked in my Townsville Podiatry clinic: "I have heel pain, so I must have a heel spur!" Having heel pain does not necessarily mean you have a heel spur. Conversely, having a heel spur does not necessarily mean you will have heel pain. One study showed that 45% of the heels analysed were either painful with no plantar heel spur or had a plantar heel spur but were not painful. Another study showed plantar heel spurs in 10-63% of asymptomatic controls. The most common cause of heel pain in adults is Plantar Fasciitis (now more correctly termed plantar heel pain) however there are many other causes of heel pain.Read More
We Provide Personalised Treatment Options for Foot Pain in Townsville
Foundation Podiatry is a locally owned and operated clinic which has been managing foot, ankle and leg pain for the people of Townsville for 13 years now. Our Townsville Podiatrists - Hayley Paterson and Chris Weber - both have 15 + years of experience working in the field of Biomechanical Podiatry and dealing with foot and lower limb pain. We pride ourselves on offering a unique, personalised approach to treatment. We understand that every person and every presenting condition needs to be treated differently to achieve the best outcomes, and we take the time to do this. When you’re suffering from ongoing foot pain, ankle pain and/or leg pain it can have an impact on every aspect of your life. Daily tasks become more difficult, exercise often goes out the window and your patience, mood and general well-being are affected. I hear all too often in my Townsville Podiatry clinic “I didn’t realise how important my feet were until they started causing me pain and impacting my life.” Below is an example of the common foot and lower limb conditions we treat on a daily basis at Foundation Podiatry Townsville: Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciopathy) Achilles tendinopathy Bunions Myriad of forefoot pain Posterior tibialis tendon dysfunction (adult flat foot) Ankle pain, instability Shin pain Leg pain/ knee pain Women’s Foot Health Chronic pain & Arthritis Click here for more detailed information on these conditions. If you find yourself suffering from foot pain in the Townsville area and are sick and tired off it impacting every aspect of your life, get in touch with our locally owned & operated clinic today, we would love to help you out!Read More
FOOT PAIN hindering your New Year's Fitness Resolution?
Most people try to kick off the New Year with a healthy, positive goal in mind. Whether that be regularly walking Castle Hill or training for a half marathon, it’s important to have a plan in place. Unfortunately for many people embarking on a new exercise regime… PAIN often follows! Foot pain, shin pain and knee pain are common culprits that can quickly put a stop to your training. 3 things to consider when embarking on a new exercise regime: FOOTWEAR is a biggy! What type of training are you doing? Running, CrossFit, netball, hiking?? A particular shoe may be required for a particular activity. In many instances, footwear can be the cause of an injury, or may help to resolve an injury. Have a read of our ‘How to choose the correct training footwear‘ article. Be careful of TOO MUCH TOO SOON! Most people are super excited when starting a new exercise regime. Take it easy and slowly build up the intensity, duration and frequency. Rest days are allowed! Any niggly injuries should be addressed before you start! Are you having heel pain or forefoot pain after training? Knee pain doing squats or shin pain when sprinting? The sooner you address these issues the sooner they will resolve, and the more likely you will be to reach your fitness summit. At Foundation Podiatry Townsville our Podiatrists Hayley, Chris & Emma are leaders in their field of Biomechanical Podiatry. Visit us for a detailed Posture, Movement and Gait Assessment to identify the cause of your problem, instead of just treating the symptoms. Remember….. Active FEET > Active BODY > Active LIFE By Hayley Paterson | Biomechanical Podiatrist TownsvilleRead More
Are Heel Pain and Menopause related?
In our Townsville Podiatry clinic we see many more middle aged women with heel pain than younger women - are hormones at play? Sometimes, pain creeps up on you – it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment it started. But suddenly you’re sore all the time. Menopause can be the same! There is no clear start or ending point of menopause; but when it does begin there is a rapid drop in oestrogen in the first six months then it continues to steadily decline over the next 3 years. Menopause usually starts around the ages of 45 - 55 years. So what are the symptoms of Menopause? When you think of someone heading into menopause usually you imagine hot flushes, sleep disturbances, mood changes, weight gain, changes to the menstrual cycle etc... all of these changes can be attributed to the lowering oestrogen levels. But reduced oestrogen, combined with ageing, can also impact the health and happiness of our skeletal tissues. Lower oestrogen affects our collagen production. Collagen is basically the building block of our musculoskeletal system - bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and skin. Less collagen synthesis means less elasticity of tendons and skin, constriction of blood vessels, decreased healing, increased risk of developing a soft tissue injury and joint pain. Oh the joy! Age related loss of muscle size and strength (also known as sacropaenia) in addition to low oestrogen related weight gain can leave middle aged women in a precarious position. It can also change the way women walk, move and hold themselves. The thing is, pre-menopause women have a lower risk of soft tissue injury than men do but once menopause kicks in and oestrogen levels drop - soft tissue injury risk increases. That’s why we see way more middle aged women with heel pain than younger women. But not only heel pain - Achilles tendon pain, ankle pain, knee/hip/back postural pain can all increase during menopause – especially if there are changes in the way women walk . So is heel pain related to menopause? The answer is – it can be.Read More
Why do my shins hurt when I run?
This is a common complaint seen in my Townsville Podiatry clinic. Shin pain can be very frustrating, especially when you are just getting into an exercise regime. There are many causes of shin pain, but I think the most common cause is ‘too much too soon’. Patients will often get shin pain at the start of a footy season or 2 weeks into a 12 week boot-camp challenge. There are many causes of shin pain which can include: Over-pronated, collapsing arches High arch, rigid foot-type (poor at shock absorption) Weak/tight proximal muscles around hips/glut/core. Running is solely a single-leg activity. You need good stability around your hips/gluts to keep your hips level and control the force that your leg internally rotates on ground contact. Certain running gaits may increase your risk of developing shin pain – for example heel striking may increase the load on your anterior shin muscles; narrow cross-over running gait changes the angle your foot/leg strikes the ground which in turn increases the torque on your tibia and load on your shin muscles Crappy, worn out shoes Tight calf muscles, restricted ankle joint Sudden increase in training intensity and frequency Surface/ terrain It is important to have your shin pain correctly diagnosed and treated to allow you to return to exercise and avoid needing many weeks of complete rest. Please read our Shin Pain article for more detailed information.Read More
The pitfalls of focusing on Foot Strike
So running boils down to a lot more than just chucking your runners on and putting one foot in front of the other. In this blog I’m going to discuss foot strike – particularly the pitfalls of ONLY focusing on foot strike. The way your foot strikes the ground when you run will fall into 3 categories. But it is important to note that 1 foot strike isn’t necessarily always better or worse than another. The most suitable foot strike required may change throughout a run – depending on terrain, ascending/descending hills, when you need to put the pedal to the metal etc. HEEL STRIKE (Heel hits the ground before the rest of your foot) For adult runners, heel strike is the most common foot strike – here’s why: If you spend most of your day seated, you’ve probably developed chronically tight hips and sleepy glutes. As a result your stride reaches out much further in front of you than it needs to. This is because you’re not using your glutes, hips and hamstrings to drive your running. You may have heard the statement HEEL STRIKE is EVIL?More correctly, OVER-STRIDING is EVIL! But heel striking will often result in over-striding. "Over-striding (when your foot hits the ground in front of your body instead of underneath your body) – is like running with your brakes on". Or another way to think of it is to drive your car with one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake. You are trying to go in a forward direction - running - but every time the heel hits the ground out in front it is actually slowing you down. So most heel strikers will over-stride, but you can still land with a forefoot or mid-foot strike and over-stride. A good time to heel strike (throw the brakes on) is when you need to decelerate coming down hills or make a sharp turn. FOREFOOT STRIKE (Forefoot hits the ground first) Body weight is heavily focused onto the ball of the foot and the toes. Heels are likely not hitting the ground between steps. Your upper body may be a little bent forward from the hips. Forefoot strike is helpful to up your speed towards a finish line or up a small hill. Spending the majority of a long run in this position may lead to tightness and cramping in your calf and achilles complex. MID-FOOT STRIKE (The middle ground) It is the most neutral foot strike of the three. Most of your foot hits the ground at once, underneath your body (not out in front or too far behind). Your torso is balanced even on top of your hips, knees and ankles. Though you will need to call on your ‘brake’ and ‘gas’ pedals (heel and forefoot strike) at times during a run – you will need to find your version of the mid-foot strike for the majority of your longer runs. The Pitfalls of only focusing on Foot Strike.... So I’ve just talked A LOT about the different foot strikes and how mid-foot strike is most efficient. BUT – foot strike is not the be all and end all of efficient running. To think of it another way - specific foot strike is not the CAUSE of efficient running, it is the RESULT of efficient running. The problem with concentrating just on foot strike when running is that it usually results in a runner having a stiff, tight dorsi-flexed ankle at ground contact. This stiff, rigid ankle inhibits the 33 joints and 20 muscles in each foot from doing their job – acting like a dynamic spring. Focusing on the following tips will harvest far greater benefit to your running that just focusing on a specific foot strike: Mobility/proprioception/strength exercises to get your feet working like dynamic springs Good posture – think tall, tummy, tail and toes Quicker rhythm / cadence Appropriate drills and movement patterns – eg. low pulls / hammy snaps Strength & conditioning training – esp hips/glutes Improving the points from above will ultimately improve your foot strike and stop you from over-striding – without you even having to think about your foot strike!Read More
What causes Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)???
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Heel pain is most common in the 40 – 60 year age group. It is so prevalent that ~80% of adults will suffer a bout of heel pain over the course of their adult life-time. The plantar fascia is a strong structure in the arch of the foot, kind of like a bow-string. When the plantar fascia becomes injured, pain is felt in the front of the heel and sometimes in the arch of the foot. It is much worse first thing in the morning and after rest periods, causing you to hobble like old Mother Hubbard. Unfortunately this hobbling can then cause pain and tightness in other parts of your body! So what actually CAUSES heel pain?? To put it simply, plantar fasciitis occurs when the continual daily mechanical load on the plantar fascia (main supporting structure of the arch) is greater then what the body can continue to repair. Every time you rest or sleep, your body goes into repair mode to heal any little niggly stuff that has happened throughout the day. In an optimally functioning body, tissue load would equal tissue repair. When plantar fasciitis occurs it is because tissue load is much greater than tissue repair. This excessive load causes a weakening and degeneration of the plantar fascia, and in some cases tears may be present. The condition is now more correctly termed plantar fasciosis (degeneration) instead of plantar fasciitis (inflammation). The following factors may contribute to increase mechanical load of the plantar fascia: Occupations which require lots of walking or standing on hard surfaces. Foot Posture – having collapsed arches or high arch, rigid feet cause increase load on the plantar fascia. Over-training or sudden increase in training. Being over-weight – even with good foot posture those extra kg’s dramatically increase the load on the plantar fascia. Certain types of training that place a lot of stress on the feet – long distance running, sprinting, ballet, basketball etc - may contribute to an earlier onset of plantar heel pain. Certain medical conditions may predispose people to developing heel pain such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Quite often however, the finger pointing can’t just go towards the over-training, the long hours or the hard surfaces at work. More often than not, our feet are just not capable of doing their job! They’ve become stiff, rigid and weak and therefore no longer act as efficient springs for our bodies. This is largely due to our modern footwear. Shoving your feet into pointy toe shoes all day switches off your intrinsic foot muscles which makes your feet lazy. As your big toe gets pushed towards your second toe – it can no longer support your arch. Having a heel raise in your shoe tightens up your calf muscles which in turn strains your arch more. Our toes are supposed to be able to spread, our heels should be on the ground. Over time our feet have become stiff, weakened, crappy structures – allowing heel pain to occur. To address the real cause of heel pain we need to wake these feet up again – unlock their true potential! At Foundation Podiatry we have designed the ACTIVE FOOT FORMULA to do just this. For more detailed information on heel pain click here. Don't walk like old Mother Hubbard any longer! Talk to us today!Read More
Effective Treatment for Heel Pain in Townsville
Yes, heel pain in Townsville is common. Your work colleague, your sister - they've probably had it too. But so what!!! Heel pain can be darn PAINFUL! It makes you hobble like an 80 year old and can stop you from exercising. The thought of standing all day at work with heel pain is cringe worthy. Heel pain can even cause you to get tired and grumpy by the end of the day (& let’s face it - nobody wants to hang out with that person with the monkey on their back!) So why put up with heel pain?? Yes heel pain is common - in fact a large number of people will suffer a bout of heel pain across their adult life time. But this does not mean that it is not important and does not need to be treated. "As a Podiatrist in Townsville, I get tired of GP’s telling patients to put up with their heel pain – it will eventually go away". Why put up with pain for 3 months, sometimes 9 months, or in some cases for many years – when heel pain can be treated successfully, allowing you to enjoy a busy, active lifestyle? As previously mentioned, heel pain is a very common condition - yet it can be quite COMPLEX in nature - where a 'one size fits all treatment approach' often fails. An accurate diagnosis is important to recommend the most suitable treatment plan. Treatment for heel pain is often quite simple - especially if you seek treatment promptly. Often strapping to decrease the strain/load on the arch of the foot can give an immediate 40-70% reduction in pain!! Gentle exercises to warm the foot up after rest periods are very important. Certain shoes may help or exacerbate your heel pain. In some cases of heel pain, simple stretching and strengthening exercises is all that is required to be pain-free again. Some people may need Foot Supports (Orthotics) to completely knock their heel pain on the head. While others may require Low Level Laser therapy, Medical acupuncture or Shockwave therapy to kick-start their body's healing process. So as you can gather, how one person responds to heel pain treatment may be very different to the next person. At Foundation Podiatry we help ease the symptoms of heel pain for Townsville-based sufferers on a daily basis. In fact, our Podiatrists only deal with foot and lower limb pain - every patient, every day. We respect that all our patients are different. We utilise the latest treatment options with a personalised approach to help you become pain-free in the shortest time possible! For a more detailed explanation of heel pain click here. So please, don’t just put up with dreaded heel pain any longer – come and have a chat with our friendly Townsville Podiatrists today!Read More
Hints & Tips
From injury prevention, demystifying modern footwear, running techniques & tips, how to improve mobility & restore function, to even help you overcome the Donald duck walk and get you engaging your core through barefoot activation! All that wisdom and more is shared on our Hints & Tips page! Be sure to drop back to our Hints & Tips page as it will be updated on a regular basis. The feet are a very complex part of the body, allowing you to perform essential daily activities as well as tackle inspiring physical achievements - so they should not be neglected! Our foot experts, Hayley, Chris and Emma will work with you to address your goals, relieve pain, regain mobility and effectively treat your foot problems. Do you have sore toes, bunions, or get heel pain when running? Are you wanting to learn more about footwear? Concerned about whether barefoot is good or bad? Interested in injury prevention and improving your performance? Reach out to our Townsville Podiatry team today! Contact UsRead More
Persistent HEEL PAIN? Shockwave therapy may be your answer!
Intense Heel Pain getting out of bed in the morning? Is it just NOT going away? Is your heel pain stopping you from exercising & making you grumpy? Ever heard of Shockwave Therapy??? Heel pain is a common condition yet it can be quite complex in nature, where a ‘one size fits all’ treatment approach often fails. How one person responds to heel pain treatment may be quite different to the next person. Therefore it is very important to have it correctly diagnosed and then treated to your individual presentation. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band that supports the arch of the foot. In some people this thick band becomes weakened and degenerative and therefore painful. Heel pain is usually worse first thing out of bed in the morning and after rest periods. READ HERE for a more detailed explanation of heel pain. Myth Buster: I have heel pain – I must have a heel spur!! NOT generally the case: FIND OUT MORE Okay, so heel pain is… a pain in the heel! But it’s not just the pain that you have to put up with – it’s the domino effect of the pain. > The thought of putting your joggers on and going for a walk – no way! > Standing all day at work on concrete – the thought makes you cringe. > Cooking dinner when you get home – let’s just get takeout. > Your son is pining for your attention and wants to play in the back yard – you have no energy left as your heel pain has zapped it all. So why put up with HEEL PAIN when it presents all these other detrimental effects? Heel pain in adults is common, complex – yet VERY TREATABLE! At Foundation Podiatry Townsville we utilise the latest treatment options with a personalised approach to make you pain free in the shortest possible time. Treatments often include strapping, stretching, medical acupuncture, strengthening exercises, improving footwear, cushioned foot supports etc. In some cases of resistant heel pain, further treatment is necessary such as: long periods of immobilisation (really, who can do that?), cortisone injection or surgery (OUCH!!!). UNTIL RECENTLY – Shockwave therapy is now recommended prior to considering the above nasties. Shockwave therapy delivers acoustic (sound) waves to the injured tissue to help your body heal your injury. It is non-invasive, relatively pain-free and you can return to work straight after your treatment. We are getting wonderful results at Foundation Podiatry Townsville, helping many people return to an active lifestyle. For more detailed information on Shockwave Therapy READ HERE. Shockwave therapy is also commonly used for chronic achilles tendon pain. DON’T LET HEEL PAIN ZAP YOUR ENERGY – Give Foundation Podiatry Townsville a call today on 4775 1760!Read More
My mum has bunions, does that mean I will also get them?
Bunions occur more commonly in females than males and sometimes do run in families. We are at the mercy of our genes, so the same forces that caused your mother or father’s bunions are possibly at work for you too. It is important to note however – the bunion itself is not inherited – but the foot structure that causes the bunion to develop may get passed down! There are many factors that cause bunions to develop: your foot posture, shape of metatarsal bones and intrinsic muscle strength. There are also external factors which may cause bunions to develop more rapidly such as high heel or pointy-toe footwear and certain occupations. Our Podiatrist’s at Foundation Podiatry are highly trained to assess your foot posture and recommend appropriate treatment to avoid or delay the development of bunions, ideally avoiding the need for surgery. So just because your mum has bunions… this does not necessarily mean that you will also develop bunions! Have a read of our Bunions Article for more detailed information.Read More
Foot Pain vs Back Pain: Can my feet be causing my back pain?
Foot Pain vs Back Pain - Chicken or The Egg? Remember the children’s rhyme ‘your ankle bone is connected to your shin bone, your shin bone is connected to your thigh bone’… and so and so on up the chain. Your body is linked like a kinetic chain, with your feet being the FOUNDATION for the rest of your body. If your feet are ‘out-of-whack’, then this can throw the next link (ankle) in the chain out, which throws the next link (knee) out, and so on right up to the lower back. 2 Common Foot Postures That Can Contribute To Low Back Pain Over-pronated low arch foot-type (also commonly called ‘flat feet’, collapsed arches, pes pancakus). When your arches collapse inwards, this causes your legs to rotate inwards, your pelvis to tilt forwards and increases the curve and stress in your lower back – often resulting in low back pain and fatigue. This may be noticed more after a busy day spent on your feet or after exercise. Over-supinated high arch foot-type. Generally a high arch foot-type is rigid and poor at shock absorbing. This means if the shock absorption or cushioning is not occurring at the level of the foot – it will get transferred all the way up to the lower back which may result in low back pain. This may be noticed more after a busy day, after weight-bearing exercise especially running, and increased time spent on unforgiving man-made surfaces (which lets face it is most of the time these days). Another cause of low back pain is FOOT PAIN. If you have foot pain, you may hobble, walk on your tip-toes or the outside of your foot, or even like John Wayne after a night on whisky. These compensated walking patterns can then cause pain and tightness in other areas of our bodies, commonly calf muscles, knees, hips and lower back. Once the foot pain is addressed, these other pains throughout the body often resolve quickly as the body is no longer protecting and compensating with every step. As you can now appreciate, your feet don’t only cause foot pain – but can cause havoc all the way up to the lower back! It is now important to acknowledge the chicken or the egg – foot and leg pain can also be caused by referred pain from the back. At Foundation Podiatry Townsville we work alongside other allied health professionals to treat the cause of your knee, hip and back pain. Remember….. ‘You’re feet are the FOUNDATION for your posture’.Read More
Custom Foot Supports (Orthotics) VERSUS the Chemist jobs
I’ve been told I need Orthotics – will the ones from the chemist do the trick?? Generally, no. Off-the-shelf or non-customised orthotics from the chemist are made for a 'normal' foot type. People with a ‘normal’ foot type generally do not develop foot problems nor need to be worried about their long term foot health. If a Podiatrist has recommended custom orthotics for you – it is because you do not have normal (I prefer to say ideal) foot posture. You may have a very high arch, rigid foot-type which is poor at shock absorbing. Or you may have a broad flat foot (pancake foot) which acts like a floppy spring. Your feet may even differ from one foot to the other, which is often the case. WHAT DO ORTHOTICS ACTUALLY DO? Custom orthoses are designed to alter how your foot functions – whether it be changing alignment to stop your foot rolling in or out, altering the force at which your foot rolls in or out, deflecting pressure away from high-pressure areas, increasing cushioning ability of the foot etc. This direct adjustment within the feet can affect the function of your ankles, knees, hips and lower back (ie. a whole body adjustment). WILL I NEED TO WEAR MY ORTHOTICS FOREVER AND EVER? This answer is different for each person. What is the reason you are getting orthotics for in the first place? Is it because you are injured, or because you have benign joint hypermobility (double-jointed) allowing your arches to collapse? Many of our kids at Foundation Podiatry Townsville have worn orthotics for 2-4 years and then no longer require them as they have developed ideal foot posture and strength. Some of our patients have to wear their orthotics all of the time (not to bed) – but they are happy with this because they can run, jump, garden, play with their grandkids etc. pain free. Others may only wear their orthotics in their training shoes. Have a read of our more detailed article on Foot Supports (Orthotics). Every human foot is different, even from left to right. Therefore if orthotics are recommended for you it is important that they are customised to your feet!Read More
No more Falls! Balance boosting tips for the Elderly
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisations in people aged 65 years and over. A common and very debilitating injury sustained from a fall is a fracture to the neck of the femur (broken hip). There are many common causes of falls in the elderly population: Chronic health conditions such as heart disease, low blood pressure, obesity and dementia Impairments such as poor vision and inflamed ear drums Environmental causes such as upturned rugs, objects on ground, poor lighting, wet and slippery surfaces etc Another common cause of falls is poor mobility, balance, proprioception, and strength in our legs and feet – and this is where our Podiatrists can help you out. As we get older it is natural that our bodies are not as nimble, agile and strong as they once were. Unfortunately nobody can escape the aging process, however the more we keep moving and doing things the more able-bodied we remain. Like I have mentioned many times before – use it or lose it! With age our feet become less mobile than they used to be. This stiffness makes walking on different, uneven surfaces more difficult and unsteady.ANSWER – do exercises to keep your feet flexible! With age our proprioception (message pathway from feet to brain) slows down. For example, the message to your brain telling you that you’ve stood on your grandkids lego may not fire as quickly – making you stumble.ANSWER – do exercises to improve your proprioception and balance! With age our muscle strength may dwindle – making climbing stairs, lifting heavy objects, side-stepping out of the way of a trolley etc more difficult.ANSWER – do exercises to improve muscle strength! Now you’re probably thinking that I’m suggesting you head to the local gym and pump some serious iron? Not necessary. Incorporating certain exercises (with correct technique of course) into your daily activities is most helpful and also most sustainable. Doing a few extra chair squats each time you sit down, or parking a bit further away from the shopping centre and making yourself walk a bit further each day. At Foundation Podiatry Townsville we appreciate how amazing our feet are and what they are designed to do - and hence have developed our ACTIVE FOOT FORMULA. We can give you specific exercises to improve the mobility, proprioception, balance and strength of your feet and legs. This will reduce pain and give you more confidence and endurance with walking, managing your daily tasks and allow you to return to the hobbies you love most! To best address your needs, we also work alongside other local health professionals such as Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists. Our senior Podiatrist Hayley also has a great appreciation of the benefits of yoga, tai chi and pilates when it comes to foot health and balance.Read More
Ohh... It's just another ankle sprain!
As common as an ankle sprain may be – they still need your love and attention! Each and every time you sprain your ankle you are doing some form of damage. Whether that be over-stretching the ligaments around the ankle, damaging the message pathway to the brain, bruising the ankle joint or even fracturing a bone! Following an initial ankle sprain it is important to be checked over by a health professional, managed correctly in the acute phase but MOST importantly rehabilitated appropriately so that it doesn’t happen again… and again… and again. WHO Most ankle sprains are inversion sprains (rolling the ankle outwards), however you can suffer an eversion sprain (rolling the ankle inwards). Ankle sprains are common in change of direction sports such as soccer, basketball and hockey. Ankle sprains in Townsville are common due to our rocky, hard grounds - especially when trail running. COMMON MISTAKE Initially ankle sprains involve some awful pain, often swell up like a balloon and you may have to hobble around for a few days or weeks. Most people end up going back to work and then sport too soon. Many of the patients I see in my Townsville Podiatry clinic do not seek treatment after an ankle sprain ….because…. Ohh… It’s just another ankle sprain! Instead we get to see the chronic, stiff, yucky ankles many years down the track! The ongoing pit-falls of NOT seeking treatment! A single ankle sprain can lead to long-term clinical problems, particularly ankle instability, persistent pain and ankle stiffness and swelling. These side effects are more likely to occur when the initial ankle sprain is not treated promptly and appropriately. Ankle Instability During an ankle sprain the ligaments are stretched well beyond their normal length. Think of an Allen’s snake lolly, once you stretch the snake it will not return to its original length, same goes with ligaments. This creates an unstable and weak ankle, especially in the direction of the ankle sprain. To add fuel to the fire, the message pathway from your ankle to your brain gets damaged. This is the same message pathway that tells you that you are about to sprain your ankle – hence the re-occurrence of multiple ankle sprains. Persistent Pain Persistent pain is the most common long-term side effect of an ankle sprain. One third of people report pain lasting a year or longer following an ankle sprain. This can be due to soft tissue injury of the supporting ligaments and tendons. An ankle sprain can also precipitate the degeneration of the ankle joint, leading to osteo-arthritis. Chronic Stiffness The third clinical problem seen long after an initial ankle sprain is chronic stiffness. Swelling can lead to stiffness as it affects the mobility in the ankle joint. THE DOMINO EFFECT OF CHRONIC ANKLE INSTABILITY, PAIN AND STIFFNESS IS THAT NORMAL WALKING BECOMES COMPROMISED. IT IS MORE DIFFICULT TO NAVIGATE UNEVEN GROUND, CAMBERS, INCLINES/DECLINES AND STEPS. THE MUSCLES AND JOINTS HIGHER UP IN THE LEG AND PELVIS OFTEN HAVE TO OVER-COMPENSATE, OR MAY LOSE EFFICIENCY AND STRENGTH. THIS CAN LEAD TO A MYRIAD OF OTHER PROBLEMS SUCH AS LOW BACK PAIN, KNEE PAIN, HIP BURSITIS ETC. Ankle sprains that are treated early and correctly are less likely to cause long-term side effects. If you sprain your ankle — even if you think the injury is minor – come and visit one of our Biomechanical Podiatrists at Foundation Podiatry Townsville!Read More