Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition which is characterised by pain in the bottom of the heel and foot region. It is a result of irritation/inflammation of the plantar facia, a thick fibrous band which provides stability to the arches in your foot during tasks like walking and running.

Plantar fasciitis is often very sore first thing in the morning and also when getting up after sitting for a period of time. Often the pain will improve after a little bit of activity, however intense or long durations of walking/running will often cause an increase in pain.

Common contributing factors to onset of plantar fasciitis:

1.      Overuse: Large increases in repetitive tasks such as running, walking or hiking can lead to inflammation in the plantar fascia if it is too much too soon for the foot to tolerate.

2.      Changes in footwear: by altering how load is placed on the foot, which can lead to acute overload of the plantar fascia in some cases.

3.      Jobs involving large amounts of standing or walking.

4.      Age: More common as age increases

Treatment for plantar fasciitis:

Initially the focus is on reducing pain, which can be assisted through:

–          Icing the foot for pain relief

–          Rest from aggravating activities

–          Orthotics or taping of the foot to give extra arch support

–          Shockwave therapy

–          Implementing cross training for athletes to maintain fitness

Long term the focus is on improving foot and ankle strength and gradually increasing activity. Your physiotherapist will devise a specialised rehabilitation plan specific to your work or sport, this can include the following:

–          Strength exercises for the foot, calf and lower limb

–          Plyometric exercises

–          Specialised running program

–          Adjustments to running technique to reduce injury risk

–          Advice on appropriate supportive footwear

Our physiotherapists are highly skilled in plantar fasciitis treatment. If you or someone you know is struggling with foot pain, book an appointment today to start your individualised treatment program.

Shin Splints

Shin splints is a general term used to describe pain that arises over the inside border of the shin. It is a common complaint for runners or running-based athletes, however there can be multiple causes for pain in this area, making proper assessment and diagnosis imperative.

Potential sources of pain:

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome:

          Most common cause.

          Pain with MTSS is thought to arise from irritation where the muscles on the inside of the shin attach to the shin bone.

Stress fracture:

          A sinister cause of pain

          Pain occurs when bone recovery can’t keep up with how the load being placed on it, resulting in damage to the bone that worsens over time.

          There are varying degrees of stress fracture, ranging from ‘stress response’ in the early stages to ‘stress fracture’ in the later stages.

          If not managed correctly stress reactions will progress to stress fractures which result in very long rehabilitation periods.


Common contributing factors:

          Increases in running/training volume

          Change in footwear/poor fitting footwear

          Change in running surface

          Lower leg muscle weakness

          Weakness at the hip and/or knee

          Other systemic causes which impair the bone’s ability to repair


Management of MTSS and stress fractures are completely different. It is important to get assessed by a Physiotherapist who is well trained to help differentiate between them and guide your management appropriately.

MTSS is primarily managed through strengthening the lower limb and improving single leg mechanics. Running load will be reduced to a comfortable level and gradually increased over time as you recover. Your physio will also use massage and/or dry needling to help relax irritated muscles, and ensure your footwear is optimal for the sport you are playing.

Stress fracture management is very different. If a stress fracture is suspected, your physio will likely refer to a Sports Medicine Physician for imaging and to oversee the healing process, as well as investigate underlying reasons for onset. Depending on severity and location, stress fractures have varying time frames for recovery. However, they all involve a period of time spent on crutches, followed by slow and gradual rehabilitation guided by your physiotherapist.


In summary, not all shin pains are ‘shin splints’ and early diagnosis is pivotal to rule out sinister stress fractures as well as to facilitate a speedy recovery.



If you or someone you know would like help with their shin pain, please feel free to contact us on 9245 1011. 

Achilles Tendinopathy

Achilles Tendinopathy


The achilles tendon joins your calf muscle to your heel bone. During running the calf and
achilles complex does a majority of the work. This means it has to withstand very large amounts of force and as a result, the achilles tendon can be often overused. This can lead to achilles tendinopathy, a common running-related overuse injury which results in the tendon becoming painful and stiff, especially during and after exercise as well as first thing in the morning. This makes it difficult to run, walk or play sport.

There are various causes of achilles tendinopathy, but most commonly it is due to a large
increase in the amount of running or training the person is doing. A Physiotherapist can diagnose achilles tendinopathy, but most importantly work with you to work out why it has happened and devise a specialised rehabilitation plan.

Rehabilitation for achilles tendinopathy will vary depending on the individual circumstances,
however largely there is 2 main stages which can often take >8 weeks to complete.

Stage 1: Calm the tendon down with modalities including:

o  Massage

o  Dry needling

o  Shockwave

o  Modified running/training load

Stage 2: Strengthen the tendon through guided rehabilitation exercises:

o  Lower limb strength training

o  Plyometric training (hopping/jumping)

o  Gradual build-up of running distance/training load

As you progress through your rehab it is important to quantify your improvement with
tools such as force plates, strength measures and hop tests, to ensure that your injured side recovers as close as possible to your uninjured side.

If you or someone you know would like help with an achilles problem, please contact our clinic on 9245 1011.