HEEL PAIN - PLANTAR FASCIITIS OR ACHILLES TENDINOPATHY?


When it comes to heel pain, most people seem to think about plantar fasciitis which is a painful condition located in the sole of the foot. However, if you have a dull, achy pain in the BACK of the heel, you may suffer from a condition called Achilles Tendinopathy.


What is Achilles Tendinopathy?


Achilles tendinopathy is a painful syndrome affecting the Achilles tendon which attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is the non-inflammatory degeneration of the tendon. The condition usually affects recreational runners, athletes or even inactive people.


Common causes


- Too much too soon! Overuse injury is considered to induce the pain in most cases.

- Tight calf muscles

- Flat feet

- Inappropriate footwear

- Overweight and obesity



What treatments are available?


If this sounds like something you’ve been suffering from, there are treatments available!

At Foot Body Sole we offer a variety of different treatments for Achilles tendinopathy as we know that everyone responds differently. We recommend weekly to fortnightly treatments that aim to reduce pain and increase mobility to keep you happy and healthy!


  1. Taping: a useful treatment method to offload the foot muscles. This treatment aims to reduce the stresses that poor biomechanics may be placing on the foot. For example: the flattened arch pulls on calf muscles and put extra stress on the Achilles tendon.

  2. Ultrasound/shockwave therapy: ultrasound or shockwave therapy can promote circulation to the injured area to promote healing. Shockwave specifically act’s by re-injuring tissue that may be stuck in it’s inflammatory phase, to then promote healthy healing to the area.

  3. Dry needling: dry needling can reduce muscle tightness that often exacerbates Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy. It can also dilate the blood vessels in the affected areas which helps to flush out inflammatory cells caught within the tissues.

  4. Stretching/massage exercises: stretching and massage exercises are commonly prescribed to reduce tension within the calf muscles and plantar fascia that may be contributing to your pain.

  5. Orthotic therapy: orthotics can help to support your feet and correct poor biomechanics that may be contributing to your injury. They help to support the arch and reduce the muscle's workload. Heel lifts can be quite effective and a cheap options to help reduce Achilles Tendinopathy pain if no other biomechanical issues are identified apart from tight calves and leg length discrepancy.

  6. Rehab program: once your pain has reduced, we will provide you with a rehab program to help strengthen the calf muscles and prevent re-injury down the track.


Tips to avoid heel pain!


Simple tips that can help you avoid heel pain include:

  • Avoid a sudden increase in the amount or intensity of exercise activity. Make sure to allow enough time for recovery after training, this will allow your body to gradually adjust to the new level of training.

  • Wearing supportive footwear to enable the feet to function appropriately without adding extra strain to specific areas. Thongs and bare feet can put strain on the structures in your feet and legs and cause unwanted injuries.

  • Spend 10 minutes a day stretch your muscles. Many work roles involve constant sitting and low activity levels which can leave the muscles feeling tight and strained. Regular stretching particularly after exercise enables muscles to recover more efficiently and reduce tightness and pulling on soft tissue structures.


If you or someone you know is experiencing from heel pain, come in and see us here at Foot Body Sole.

CLICK below to make a booking or call 1800 778 316 to speak with our lovely front of service.




82 Bridport Street, Albert Park 3206

Victoria Australia





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