Physio Edge podcast

When your patient has heel pain with their first few steps in the morning, after sitting for a while or at the start of a run, a diagnosis of plantar heel pain (PHP) or plantar fasciopathy might jump straight to the top of your list. How will you treat your patients with PHP? How long will it take? How can you explain PHP, the rehab and recovery to your patients?

In this podcast with Henrik Riel (Physiotherapist, researcher and PhD candidate at Aalborg University) we take a deep dive into PHP, and how you can treat it, including:

  • How to describe plantar heel pain to your patients
  • How to explain to your patient why they developed PHP, recovery timeframes and rehab
  • Plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciopathy, plantar heel pain? What's the most appropriate terminology?
  • Differential diagnosis for PHP including
    • Neuropathic pain
    • Fat pad irritation, contusion or atrophy
    • Calcaneal stress fracture
    • Other diagnoses
  • How to systematically perform an objective assessment and diagnose PHP
  • Assessment tests to identify factors contributing to your patients pain
  • Whether your patients require imaging
  • How long PHP takes to recover
  • What factors affect your patients prognosis and recovery times
  • How to differentiate your treatment for active or sedentary patients
  • Whether your patients can continue to run with PHP
  • Factors that may hinder the recovery of your sedentary patients, and how to address these
  • Whether your patients should include stretching in their rehab
  • Types of strengthening to include in your rehab - isometric, isotonic or otherwise
  • How many sets and reps should your patients perform of their strengthening exercises
  • Whether orthotics are useful
  • Corticosteroid injections - do they help or increase the risk of plantar fascia rupture?

Articles associated with this episode:

Alshami et al. 2008. A review of plantar heel pain of neural origin: differential diagnosis and management.

Chimutengwende-Gordon et al. 2010. Magnetic resonance imaging in plantar heel pain.

Dakin et al. 2018. Chronic inflammation is a feature of Achilles tendinopathy and rupture.

David et al. 2017. Injected corticosteroids for treating plantar heel pain in adults.

Digiovanni et al. 2006. Plantar fascia-specific stretching exercise improves outcomes in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. A prospective clinical trial with two-year follow-up.

Hansen et al. 2018. Long-Term Prognosis of Plantar Fasciitis: A 5- to 15-Year Follow-up Study of 174 Patients With Ultrasound Examination.

Lemont et al. 2003. Plantar fasciitis: a degenerative process (fasciosis) without inflammation.

Rathleff et al. 2015. High-load strength training improves outcome in patients with plantar fasciitis: A randomized controlled trial with 12-month follow-up.

Riel et al. 2017. Is ‘plantar heel pain’ a more appropriate term than ‘plantar fasciitis’? Time to move on.

Riel et al. 2018. The effect of isometric exercise on pain in individuals with plantar fasciopathy: A randomized crossover trial.

Riel et al. 2019. Self-dosed and pre-determined progressive heavy-slow resistance training have similar effects in people with plantar fasciopathy: a randomised trial.

Other Episodes of Interest:

PE 062 - How to treat plantar fasciopathy in runners with Tom Goom

PE 061 - How to assess and diagnose plantar fasciopathy in runners with Tom Goom

PE 060 - Plantar fasciopathy in runners with Tom Goom

PE 038 - Plantar fasciopathy loading programs with Michael Rathleff

PE 012 - Plantar Fascia, Achilles Tendinopathy And Nerve Entrapments With Russell Wright