Last month I had the great opportunity to attend the Association of Foot and Ankle Physio’s conference in London.

Among the guest international speakers was Mr Henrik Riel who has been completing some interesting research related to plantar heel pain.

This condition is something 10% of us experience but we may be more familiar with the terms; ‘plantar fasciitis’. ‘plantar fasciopathy’ or ‘policeman’s heel’. This is a very persistent condition, with 50% of patients in a recent trial still reporting symptoms at 5 years (Hansen et al., 2018). Can you imagine! Therefore, as this is such a common and persistent complaint, I plan to discuss Plantar heel pain during my foot and ankle workshop this month in attempt to provide some education on how we can manage these symptoms better!

Plantar Heel Pain, What is it?

Plantar heel pain generally presents were you would expect, below the heel or under the arch of the foot. As Physiotherapists we often hear patients mention symptoms being worse after weight-bearing for a long time, symptoms on getting out of bed first thing in the morning or standing after a prolonged period of rest. However, the individuals reporting this can really vary, some are very active runners and others are more sedentary. The reason for this is not clear but may be related to a quick increase or decrease in activities or changes in footwear.

Treatment.

Typically, Physiotherapists try to manage these symptoms by addressing a lack of flexibility or strength in the intrinsic foot, calf and lower limb muscles. Footwear advice, gel inserts and exercise programmes are generally effective along with education and appropriate modification of activity levels. Those of you attending our reformer pilates sessions, will hear instructors guide you on methods of improving flexibility and strength in the lower leg muscles. In particular, I have noticed their skills at cueing activity in these intrinsic foot muscles during classes. However, we know with these symptoms, one size does not fit all!

Knowledge is Power!

Therefore, on April 28th grab an opportunity to attend our foot and ankle workshop where you can have the chance to ask Anthony about any specific concerns you have related to plantar heel pain. Anthony will be discussing this condition alongside others during this workshop and will be happy to take questions on the day. At Platinum Physio we have experienced specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapists who can provide rehabilitation based on the latest research evidence and have the established contacts to refer onwards if required for further investigation.

Please take the opportunity to come to our free workshop on April 28th and ask me any foot and ankle questions that you have.

You can book your space here, This workshop is limited so book early to avoid missing out.

References

Hansen, L., Krogh, T.P., Ellingsen, T., Bolvig, L. & Frebderg, U. (2018) Long-term prognosis of plantar fasciitis: A 5- to 15- year follow up study of 174 patients with ultrasound examination. The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 6(3) 1-9.

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