What is it? Pain in your heel on the sole of your foot.
Who gets it? Almost anybody can get it, young and old. However, it is most common in people who do a lot of walking and standing.
When does it hurt? It tends to be very sore with your first few steps of the day, or when you have been standing or walking.
What could I have? Plantar fasciitis
Common name? Policeman’s heel
If the above seems to describe your pain then you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This is aggravation of a band of fibrous tissue in the sole of your foot called the plantar fascia.
The aggravation often occurs where the plantar fascia attaches into the heel bone however the pain can be further up the sole of the foot towards the toes.
The common treatment often includes direct treatments like massage, stretching and strengthening exercises to the plantar fascia and the calf muscle. Also, it is often good to look at your foot posture; if you have flat feet then you may benefit from some orthotics that give you some arch support. If you have good foot posture, then you could be better off with some heel pads that decrease the pressure on the heel when you stand and walk.
What is it? Pain in the outside of the elbow.
Who gets it? Almost anybody can get it, young and old. However, it is most common in people who do a lot of gripping or lifting.
When does it hurt? It hurts when you have to grip or twist objects with the hand and wrist.
What is the medical name? Lateral epicondylitis
If this seems to describe your pain then you might have tennis elbow. This is aggravation of the tendon attachments of the muscles that engage to lift your hand and wrist up.
The aggravation can start as a result of a one-off event like lifting a heavy object or as a result of doing a repetitive task like stacking boxes. This results in pain when you are gripping or twisting an object like pouring the kettle. It can ache at rest and sometimes keep you awake.
Common treatments include direct hands on massage, acupuncture and elbow joint mobilizations. Using a tennis elbow brace can also help.
BEST EVIDENCE treatment is a strengthening program that focuses on slowly building the strength of the tendon without aggravating it too much. This can take 6-12 weeks for most people to return to normal activities or sport without pain.
What is it? Pain at the bottom of your Achilles tendon in your heel.
Who gets it? Children aged 9 - 13.
When does it hurt? After a lot of running or sport.
What is the medical name? Calcaneal apophysitis.
If your child has pain at the base of their Achilles in their heel and they are between the age of 9 and 13 then it is likely that they have Sever’s disease.
Sever’s disease is where the growth plate of the heel gets inflamed by the pulling pressure that the Achilles tendon exerts on it. It often becomes painful after a growth spurt or with increased running activity.
Treatment mainly focuses on stretching and massaging the Achilles and calf muscle to decrease the pressure on the heel bone. Wearing good supportive trainers often helps as most trainers have a little bit of a heel that also helps to reduce the pressure. We can also try taping the leg to support the area and decrease the symptoms during sport. Often however, the child has to limit sport activity to manage the pain levels.
The good news is that your child will grow out of this condition. But in the meantime, physiotherapy can help you and your child manage it and reduce the impact it has on their life.
Lower Back Pain
Don’t let lower back pain get the better of you
Sometimes it’s the most innocuous tasks that result in lower back pain. Bending over at a funny angle to pick up a pen, or simply sitting with poor posture at work are the sorts of activities that can see people wincing in agony.
Perhaps this is why lower back pain is the most common complaint that we see in physiotherapy. It can affect the young and old, with pain ranging from mild to extremely debilitating.
Fortunately, there are a number of different treatments available to ease lower back pain. Massage, mobilisation, posture correction, acupuncture, manipulation, injections and surgery are some of the treatment options that can have significant benefits for people. In physiotherapy we have the skills to deliver many of these treatments to people with lower back pain.
Interestingly, the treatment with the best scientific evidence is in fact exercise-based treatment. In physiotherapy we are perfectly placed to deliver exercise-based treatments. We tailor programmes to meet the specific needs of each person and treat the source of their pain.
So, if you are fed up with suffering from lower back pain, see a physio – they can help you manage your pain and ultimately get you better.
What else hurts?