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All referrals must be completed by a Medway GP or healthcare professional using our online form or by post using our downloadable form >

Health professionals

If you require advice about our service, please call 01634 333999 (Mon-Thurs 8am-6pm, Fri 8am-4pm) or 01634 334605 (Mon-thurs 6-6.30pm, Fri 4-6.30pm)

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    01634 333999
  • Enquiries:
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Plantar fasciitis/Heel pain

Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present.Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis means inflammation of your plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue (like a ligament) that stretches from your heel to your middle foot bones. It supports the arch of your foot and also acts as a shock-absorber in your foot.

Causes:

  • If you are on your feet for a lot of the time, or if you do lots of walking, running, standing, etc, when you are not used to it.
  • If you have recently started exercising on a different surface - for example, running on the road instead of a track.
  • If you have been wearing shoes with poor cushioning or poor arch support.
  • If you are overweight - this will put extra strain on your heel.
  • If there is overuse or sudden stretching of your sole. For example: athletes who increase running intensity or distance; poor technique starting 'off the blocks', etc.
  • If you have a tight Achilles tendon (the big tendon at the bottom of your calf muscles above your heel). This can affect your ability to flex your ankle and make you more likely to damage your plantar fascia.

Often there is no apparent cause for plantar fasciitis, particularly in older people. A common belief is that the pain is due to a bony growth or 'spur' coming from the heel bone (calcaneum). Many people have a bony spur of the heel bone but not everyone with this gets plantar fasciitis.

What happens at consultation?

You would first receive a comprehensive MSK physiotherapy examination including a subjective history including your past medical history and current medication.

What treatments would I expect?

Treatments include manual therapy, acupuncture, taping and exercises. On assessment if there is an indication for the need for orthotics you may be referred to podiatry to help with your symptoms.