Do you experience plantar heel pain? What do you need to know?

Plantar heel pain (PHP), which describes pain in or around your heel, is one of the most common sporting injuries these days. You may have heard it being referred to as plantar fasciitis, however, research found that it is not really an inflammatory condition and the term has been changed to either plantar heel pain or plantar fasciopathy.

There are some common questions that patients with plantar heel pain often ask:

What are the risk factors of plantar heel pain? or Why do I have plantar heel pain?

For athletic people/runners:

-The use of running shoes with spikes

-A large training volume (more days/kilometres running per week)

-Your foot having a high arch


Among non-athletic people:

-High BMI or being overweight

-Starting new physical activity after being inactive

-Flat feet in standing

-Plantar fascia (the tissue in the sole of your foot) thickening

-Thickening of the heel pad (fatty tissue that cushions your heel) and heel spur (extra bony growth on the underside of your heel bone)

What are the typical symptoms of plantar heel pain?

  • Sharp and localised pain under the heel when weight bearing.
  • The pain will be worse in the morning and the first few steps when getting out of bed or after prolonged sitting.

What are the treatments available for plantar heel pain?

Your Physiotherapist will be able to diagnose the source of pain and prescribe a management plan for your individual case. This plan may include:

  • Stretching of the plantar fascia (see picture).
  • A calf strengthening program performed slowly with the plantar fascia on stretch and with heavy resistance.
  • Foot orthoses such as a gel heel cup.
  • Taping.
  • If the above fail, you may consider shockwave therapy, cortisone injection, botox, or a platelet rich plasma injection (PRP), where platelets from your own blood are injected into the plantar fascia to encourage healing. Surgery for plantar heel pain should be the last option only after all other treatments have failed.

If you are in doubt of having plantar heel pain or in need of a thorough treatment program to get you back to being active, our team can help you to achieve your goal and be fit again. Book Online or contact us today on 8555 4099 for a consultation.