Is wearing a Moon Boot going to help Heel Pain?
Should I wear a “Moon Boot” for heel pain?
NO, but why? Its best to settle on some understandings from the beginning. It is widely understood that it is “soft tissue and tendons that are what become sore in Heel Pain. The idea that Heel Spurs “cause” pain has been debunked and proven incorrect a number of times!
Over the last few years there has been an evolving understanding around how tendons and soft tissue works. Keep this in the front of your mind – “TENDONS HATE CHANGE”. Stopping all activity if you are currently active is a sure-fire way to ensure that when you return to your activity you will also see the return of your heel pain!
Boots can “Change” tendons – in a negative way!
As we said stopping all activity is not good for us. That same principal exists for those who are using an air cast or moon boots. Completely removing the function of the foot and calf will mean these muscles will most likely fatigue and lose condition. At best, you will need a delicate and dedicated rehab process to get you back to normal function.
This includes “tears” in fascia’s! We have found there is an ever-increasing body of evidence suggesting that many radiologically identified tears maybe completely normal and part of a normal aging process!
Patients often ask us at the clinic about “booting” or casting them after “a friends” practitioner did this with them their “friend”. All the evidence base suggests that this is often the wrong way forward. In good conscience, we can’t do this. It should be recognized this was once accepted practice, we know we did it!
However the evidence base suggests doing this will unload the soft tissue completely and can in itself start another chain of events and problems which you only have to overcome later! So NO BOOT!
If by chance you are reading this and you’ve been prescribed a boot. I’d respectfully ask your practitioner about what the current evidence base says about this method of treatment?
Should I change my activity?
You SHOULD make modification to activity; however, a complete stop will mean you either
A. Need to rebuild your activity over quite an extended time.
B. Your heel pain is likely to return!
For the moment STOP Jumping of and onto things. For example, on + off a truck, box jumps at exercise class, skipping or other high intensity impacting the heel and forefoot until we have you back to comfortable. We will then slowly load you back up to these activities. As a guide if it hurts STOP IT!
What do I do instead?
Our strong advice is to look for strong supportive cushioned footwear.
What does this mean? Look for the following in Sneaker style or work boot.
1.Always lace up!
2.Bend only at the toes
3.Shoes should NOT bend in the middle!
4.Should NOT twist or wring out
5.Firm heel counter (back of shoe that hugs the heel)
Wear your lace up shoes – From the moment you wake – till the moment you head to bed! No matter inside or outside! No thongs – NO bare feet! This is a far better way of providing the tendons and other soft tissue structures support without immobilizing the foot and creating more problems.
Need some help?
Our Doctors at A step ahead see between 8 – 12 heel pain patient each every day! Heel pain , sports injuries and musculoskeletal pain in feet + lower legs are our passion. We are often for many people the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th opinion for their heel pain. We are most often the last!
First steps to getting back to pain free?
Give our front desk team a call, they speak to dozens of people a day just like you with problematic heel pain. They will run through with you what you may have tried so far and get a better understanding of your pain. They will then help work out what type of appointment is best to make for you. From here they can reserve your appointment time.
We would LOVE to be able to help you on the way back to becoming Happy Healthy + active.
Our number is 96732987 or 47322007 we look forward to helping you
If you are looking for more information we have a prepared a dedicated page to helping both other practitioners and patients with information on HEEL PAIN. ” Heel Pain Doctor ” has loads of fact and helps busts some of the myths around heel pain.
Top 6 reason your heel pain isn’t getting better – UPDATED
You CAN beat Heel Pain
Heel pain can be debilitating! The pain often stops people in their tracks first thing in the morning! Walk a few steps and it may be relieved. Others as the day progresses, the pain becomes worse. Finding help can be frustrating and confusing as you can often see multiple practitioners and receive multiple answers with little relief.
We first wrote this article in 2014. 3 years later, after helping literally 1000’s more patients with heel pain. After HOURS more of research and implementing significant changes in the way medicine has begun to understand Heel Pain, it became time to updated this very popular article!
With the experience of literally helping 1000’s of heel pain patients, between 10 and 20 a day! We have put together the following list of the Top 6 reasons we have noted patients have not got better.
We hope this helps you on the way to beating your heel pain.
1.You decide to go it alone and NOT get professional advice.
Of all the people we see, a large proportion of them have never had any care or professional advice. Quotes like “I just thought it would go away” or “A friend told me what they did to get rid of the pain and I just tried that”. Most times it doesn’t! You will increase your chance of beating heel pain, significantly by getting a professional opinion. Professional advice and treatment costs money. Yes some people find this expensive however others find it invaluable. It depends on how much you really want to get rid of your very sore heels?
2.You wear thongs (flip flops) because your feet are sore
Wearing thongs, Croc type shoes or even bare feet for many people make their feet feel better initially but all our experience tells us you are doing more damage. The pain you feel days later not necessarily at the time. You are welcome to argue this point as much as you like, while you continue to hobble…………
3.You get advice and then choose which bits you use.
Great work on getting advice now it’s time to take it ……yes ALL of it. When a care plan is developed for you, if you choose only the bits you like to hear and the easy bits, you will end up failing to get better. Your Podiatrist should work with you as a patient to establish the best way to relieve you of your pain. They should speak to you about what shoes are best for you. What treatment will get you better quickest, including strength exercises, therapy to relax the soft tissue and possibly orthotics. Now choosing NOT to do some of the suggested treatment universally ends up with patients not getting better. Our Podiatrists do all that and more, does yours?
4.You bought hard rigid orthotics from a Podiatrist.
Our experience tells us that rigid hard orthoses on most occasions irritate the heel and the arch region adding to your discomfort. We have over the years collected many pairs of rigid orthotic from patients who give them to us in frustration after finding they have hindered rather than help. Secondly if this is the only therapy you were given, with the exception of a couple of possible stretches then we would suggest to you that there is more to getting rid of your pain than this – ask the question “So how is this rehabilitating my damaged soft tissue?”
5.You stop ALL activity.
As our understanding has changed over the years we now appreciate the following – “TENDONS HATE CHANGE”. Stopping all activity if you are currently active is a sure-fire way to ensure that when you return to your activity you will also see the return of your heel pain!
You SHOULD make modification to activity, However a complete stop will mean you either
A. Need to rebuild your activity over quite an extended time.
B. Your heel pain is likely to return!
For the moment STOP Jumping of and onto things. For example, on + off a truck, box jumps at exercise class, skipping or other high intensity impacting the heel and forefoot until we have you back to comfortable. We will then slowly load you back up to these activities.
6.You choose a practitioner who does not understand heel pain.
So your GP says they will fix your heel pain? Your Physio who is treating your shoulder says the same and the Podiatrist you see, who works one day a week at your local GP clinic and cuts your toe nails, says they will fix it no problem. Who do you choose?
Your heel pain is not simple its complex and for you it’s really sore! Choose someone who see’s and treats heel pain regularly. Choose someone who is passionate about making sure that they help you on the way to getting you better. All the people above are probably very good at what they do, but they most likely won’t end up helping you beat your pain!
Did you know there are about 10 different condition’s that could be causing your pain? When our practitioners are asked by GP’s Physio’s + Podiatrists on Heel pain it is often a surprised to the how complex this condition is! Our Doctors all sports podiatrists see this condition multiple times a day. When you see something that often you are more familiar with it + know how to get on top of it. Ask the person you see how many Heel pain patients they help a day.
How can we help
At A Step Ahead foot + Ankle care we see approximately 8 to 12 heel pain patients a day. We have patients that travel literally hundreds of kilometres to seek our help – Which is really lovely! Our clinics are set up quite specifically to treat patients with heel pain. We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into equipment and the latest technology to help us, help you- beat heel pain.
Our Principal Podiatrist Brenden Brown is recognized as an expert in Podiatry. A past President of the Australasian Podiatry council he is considered a Medical Expert in the area of Foot health, appearing regularly on television shows like the Today Show and Magazines like Men’s Health. He has appeared for some time as the Medical expert for lower limb conditions on ABC radio’s “the Waiting Room”
It would be a pleasure to help you beat your heel pain.
We are located in Penrith and St Marys in Sydney’s Western suburbs.
You can contact us on 47322007 or 96732987 we hope you will.
He’s just not as fast as the other kids, and limps a little after games! I thought it would just go away but it seems to be getting worse
Ashley came to see us after a frustrating 4 weeks of Heel Pain for mum and daughter alike. Stretching and Rest had been prescribed by her physio, but to no effect! The GP said ice, but It just wasn’t getting better and Ash didn’t want to loose her spot in the team. Our telephone rang and on the end of the phone was an incredibly frustrated mum. Kristy our superstar behind the desk made some room in our appointment book and we got Ashley in to our clinic.
Winter is ball sport season and its also the season we see an increase in Kids heel pain!
Week one was a biomechanics and gait assessment (Walk run and standing assessment) by the team, (Yes we work as a team!!) gathering as much data (Info) about Ash’s foot, her walking and running style and her muscle profiles. We took a 3D laser scan of her feet and moved her out of her old slip on casual shoes, into some newly minted Asics Nimbus, giving her support and cushioning in every step.
Wow what a difference a week makes! We had a beaming Ashley walk into our clinic with a noticeable spring in her step!
Kids heel pain is most commonly an inflammation at the growth plate at the back of the heel, or underneath the foot at the insertion of the fascia. In Ashley’s case, it was the backs of her heels at the insertion point of the Achilles Tendon.
We started our course of soft tissue rehabilitation, which included a series of deep tissue massage, and some manual stretching and mobilisation of the foot and ankle joint.
Ashley’s muscles in the backs of her legs were incredibly tight, playing tons of sport and not warming up before and stretching after will do that to you! So we put in place a series of really simple and quick stretches and exercises for Ashley to do on the court before and after her games and trainings. It wasn’t easy to change her habits but after she saw improvement in her pain, she stuck to the plan. Mum and Dad even got in on the act! A fit happy healthy family!
Four further weeks of manual therapy, custom made orthotic intervention and a tailored return to sport program (plus some stern words about her shoes) and Ashley was back full time on the court. Why is this? An accurate diagnosis, more than one modality of treatment (Soft tissue rehabilitation) and a girl that really really wanted to get better!
Exercise induced heel pain in young athletes is an all too common thing, but 100% treatable! An assessment from your Penrith Sports Podiatrist will have your young star back on the footy field or netball court in no time.
We have been seeing kids like yours for many years! In fact we see children just like yours from all over Sydney, from the Eastern suburbs to North shore, from as far as western NSW to Wollongong. We would love to help keep families Happy Healthy and Active! If you would like our help getting there please call us on 96732987 or 47322007
A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care Team
Penrith , St Marys
and coming soon to a suburb near you.
“I have these really cushioned shoes” she says with pride!
“The guy in the shop says they will be the best thing they are just so comfortable”
“I bought the best ones they had”
“They worked for a while but now it has come back and it feels just as bad if not worse than it did before”
“I am so frustrated I have tried everything”
Asics Nimbus for Neutral or higher arched foot types – great supportive cushioning
This is generally how the conversation with many of our patients who first visit us tends to sound like. Why does it sound like you? Because we see “you” …or someone just like you every day. (often 6 – 10 times a day!)
Heel pain and foot pain can be frustrating. It can stop you from doing the things you love. Putting off the plans you have. Tried walking the city to surf with heel pain or for that matter the streets of Greece on that big overseas trip you had planned? Heel pain can be a game changer!
Many people do the very first thing that comes to mind BUY NEW SHOES! From GP’s to nurses to your next door neighbor, people will tell you that new shoes are the way to go and we won’t disagree BUT BE WARNED the choice of shoes is what’s important.
Most very cushioned shoes WILL NOT help you! Our experience of successfully treating thousands of heel pain patients says, a shoe that has a firm shell with a small amount of structured cushioning is what works best.
Footwear for heel pain needs to be more supportive. We have found that cupping the foot with a firm heel counter (The very back part of the shoe). Supporting the foot through the midfoot with a shank, meaning a firm part of the sole, so the shoe doesn’t bend in the middle. When you visit us with your heel pain it’s one of the very first things as practitioners we look at.
Our “got to shoe” of 2014 is the Asics Gel cardio zip 2
Avoid your trendy Nike footwear with large bulky cushioned air bags. Avoid footwear that are super flexible and bend in the middle. Light weight and footwear like “supasoft” and “gel cushioning”. Our experience says these at first these feel ok but quickly become more of a problem than a solution. Don’t even start us on minimalist shoes and barefoot running – a recipe for disaster.
Footwear is only part of a more detailed solution. When visiting A step ahead foot +ankle care we will develop a detailed treatment plan addressing everything from your footwear to soft tissue rehabilitation through to correcting your poor foot posture. Heel pain is a complex problem that won’t go away by itself (it will if you are happy to wait anywhere between 12 month and 5 years). Sadly unlike other conditions unless you are going to stop walking altogether you are going to have to deal with this problem before it will go away.
The podiatrists at A Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Care specialize in lower-limb mechanics and sports medicine. Their podiatrists have been featured on television and in magazines such as Men’s Health, Good Medicine, Prevention and many others. They see more than 15,000 patients every year with foot pain just like yours. The practice has been servicing Western Sydney for over 30 years.
They work closely with a number of General practitioners, Orthopaedic surgeons, Sports physicians and Sports physiotherapists to assist in the treatment of many of their difficult patients. They are also the podiatrists that other podiatrists refer to when they need someone to work with their complex patients.
You can contact A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle care on 96732987 or 47322007 to make an appointment.