Plantar Fasciitis: What It Is and How You Can Treat It

Do you suffer from pain at the bottom of your foot? Are the first few steps of your day excruciating? Well, you may very well have plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis, also known as plantar fasciopathy or heel pain, is a frustrating condition that is described as pain at the bottom (plantar) or inside (medial) aspect of the heel. The plantar fascia is a strong, three-part fibrous piece of connective tissue under the foot that originates from the heel bone (calcaneus) and extends out to the 5 toes. Its main role is to absorb and transmit force through the foot, and to maintain the medial arch of the foot when standing. 

The plantar fascia tolerates loads of up to 2-4 times your body weight depending on whether you are walking or running, and absorbs this load specifically during the later part of the stance phase of weight bearing. In short, it’s strong!

How do I know if I have plantar fasciitis? 

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is localised, sharp pain in the bottom and/or inside of the heel. This is especially sore in the morning when taking the first few steps, because at this point the plantar fascia is stiff from a night of immobility.

It is also common to experience pain when standing or walking after a long period of sitting. Some activities that can flare up the pain include walking, standing for long periods of time and running; all of which can be worsened by poor footwear. To be certain that you have the condition, it’s best to seek professional advice from your physiotherapist. 

Plantar fasciitis risk factors

Plantar fasciitis is common across the lifespan, affecting mainly runners, as well as the older, more sedentary population. 

Some plantar fasciitis risk factors are:

  • Excessive weight, placing excessive loads on the plantar fascia
  • Sudden increases in training load
  • Poor footwear 
  • Previous history of foot injuries 
  • Biomechanical imbalances of the foot and lower leg 

Unfortunately plantar fasciitis can be quite painful, especially when it’s in its early phase. The condition can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to settle down, depending on several factors. 

If it becomes a problem for longer than a few months, the intensity of the pain tends to be more manageable. 

Plantar fasciitis treatment

There are multiple things you can do to manage plantar fasciitis.

Load management 

Alter your training regime by manipulating certain training factors like the intensity, frequency or duration of training. You can also modify the amount of loads going through the foot by choosing low-impact exercise such as using bikes, cross trainers, or going swimming.

Good footwear

Sturdy, supportive footwear can make all the difference to the amount of pain you might feel from plantar fasciitis. Wearing a shoe that is cushioned and allows your toes to move freely is recommended. Footwear that can worsen the symptoms of plantar fasciitis include high heels, thongs, and inexpensive shoes with thin soles. 

Plantar fasciitis physical therapy

Physiotherapy can really help you treat plantar fasciitis. For short term symptom relief, things like calf stretching, foam rolling the calf and bottom of the foot, and plantar fasciitis stretching can really help.

Long term treatment, however, involves strengthening. Calf strengthening (especially with the big toe extended) and exercises that focus on both of the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) whereby you utilise both bent and straight knees, can work wonders.


If you are struggling with plantar fasciitis pain or want to get an assessment of your pain, book in a consultation or call us on 02 8068 7737.

Sports Physio Tips for the Holiday Season

If 2021 has taught us anything, it’s that we all need a well-deserved break this holiday season. Whether you’re traveling interstate or staying close to home to celebrate the end of year, we know that you’ll likely wind down from sport and consistent physical activity during this time.

So here are our tips to follow this holiday season, that’ll help prevent you from sustaining any injuries on your return to normal activity next year.

#1: Keep some form of physical activity

Sure, maintaining a consistent level of physical activity during this period is hard; you’re not in your normal routine, you’ll likely have many events on, and you might not be close to home or to where you normally train. But it’s important to attempt to keep some form of physical activity going, even if it’s less than before.

If you were training heavily or playing sports a few times per week prior to the holiday season, even just being active 1 – 2 times a week will minimise injury on your return to sport following the new year period. Why? Because it’s usually the big jump from zero to 100 (in this case, over 3 – 4 sessions a week of activity) that can lead to sudden injury, as your body has adapted to your lower exercise load. 

#2: Stick to your program

If you’re currently rehabilitating an injury and are following a program, try your best to stick to it. We know how hard this can be over the festive period, but giving yourself time to continue your rehab will set a solid platform for the post-new year period, and make sure you don’t lose the progress you’ve already gained. Sticking to your structure as best you can will ultimately facilitate your return to sport in the timeline you had hoped for. 

#3: Think about the basics leading into your return

If you’re returning to sport following the holiday period, it’s important to remember the basics. You might be wondering what the basics are. By this we mean:

  • 8 hours of sleep per night
  • adequate hydration
  • adequate nutritional intake

Believe it or not, these three things will help you dramatically in your return to sport, and ensure you feel fresh and ready to go. That being said, a dramatic reduction of these three things can lead to injury so do your best to make these the non-negotiables.

#4: Don’t wait

If you’re unsure about something related to your rehabilitation, the best is to check in with your treating sports physio. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be here intermittently throughout the festive period and are always happy to help!

You can book in a consultation or call us on 02 8068 7737.


Here’s How to Find the Best Sports Physio in Sydney

We’re inching closer to summer, lockdown has lifted and most people are back at the gym. This means that finding the best sports physio in Sydney is something a lot of people might be looking for right now. Whether you have an ongoing niggle or want to make sure you return to playing sport safely, there are a few requirements we know you’re probably looking for.

You’d like them to be close for convenience, preferably recommended by someone you know who has tried them out, and of course a clinic that provides the level of service you expect. So why is it so difficult to find the best sports physio in Sydney? 

Sports physio guidelines

As healthcare professionals, we are responsible for following the advertising guidelines of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which have strict rules and guidelines when it comes to advertising or promoting yourself in Australia. Some of the guidelines include not being able to claim themselves to be “the best”, the inability to compete in advertising, and not being able to make statements or claims such as being able to ‘fix’ people. 

For consumers, this is great. It protects them from the exploitation of healthcare and limits the possibility of being ‘sold’ a service that isn’t considered current best practice. People can sometimes be at their most vulnerable when seeking healthcare support, so these guidelines ensure that our physiotherapy clinics remain approachable and most of all, a safe space for patients to communicate and seek help.

Ways to find the best sports physio in Sydney

Here are some great resources to help you begin finding the best sports physiotherapist, and to get an overview of the most qualified physios Sydney has to offer. 

Referrals from your GP

If you’re looking for the best sports physio, chatting to your GP is a great place to start, as they can offer recommendations and referrals for musculoskeletal injuries or conditions. They’ll also likely explain the benefits of the Enhanced Primary Care Plan in claiming rebates for your sessions – a handy tip if you’re going to become a repeat patient. However, on the flipside, GP recommendations can be narrowed down to who they know or who their in-house physiotherapist is.


AHPRA is a great resource in finding a registered health professional of any kind as their policies and standards are in place to protect anyone seeking help. All practitioners listed on their website are verified in accordance with their regulations, while their search engine allows you to narrow down your preferences by profession and location, making it simple to find someone near you.


There are two major paid directories that list the therapists in your area. Although, there’s not a lot of information on the quality of each practitioner, it does give a comprehensive index of choice.

Surgeons or Sports Physicians

Similar to GP’s, Sports Medicine professionals or Orthopaedic Surgeons can also provide a recommendation or referral to a local sports physiotherapist. This can be for pre or post-operative physiotherapy or an injury that requires physiotherapy intervention. 

Word of Mouth

There’s nothing like a recommendation from someone you trust. Speaking with others can be a beneficial way to find the best sports physiotherapist for you. Sometimes friends and family have needed to see a physiotherapist, or know of someone else who received great service, and through that, you might find the best sports physio in Sydney.

Make sure your physio is qualified

There are multiple ways to become a physiotherapist but there are some varying levels in qualifications and expertise. In order to practice as a physiotherapist, one must either complete an undergraduate bachelor degree in physiotherapy or a postgraduate degree in physiotherapy following undergraduate study. Then, one can complete further study in a particular area of physiotherapy: sports, musculoskeletal, neurological and many more.

At ISO Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists either have an exercise science background or extra qualifications in strength and conditioning, which further improve our exercise prescription and rehabilitation skills. 

Remember, we are always here to help! If you have any queries or need assistance, book in a consultation or call us on 02 8068 7737.


How to Go Back to Playing Sport Safely

With COVID-19 restrictions easing, summer sports are just around the corner. At ISO Physiotherapy, we want to provide our community with as much information as possible to make the transition back into the sporting world as smooth as possible. 

In order to reduce the risk of injuries that can occur when returning to playing sport, we’ve developed a list of factors you should consider before jumping back onto the court or into the field. 

Increase the exercise intensity 

By increasing the exercise intensity in your day-to-day activities, you’ll be able to better adapt to the physical demands of the sport you are playing. For example, if you are a football player who goes for regular weekly jogs, then you could incorporate higher speed runs or interval running throughout the week, to allow your body to train the specific energy systems required for football.

Incorporate sport-specific activities into your routine

It would be helpful to start including some sport specific activities and movements into your routine. Mimicking the training or game setting of your sports prior to commencing, can be extremely helpful to get you back into the setting of playing sport. You can also incorporate your sport-specific equipment, such as soccer or rugby balls, to regain the body and mind coordination so that when you step onto the pitch or court, you are ahead of the bunch.

Make sure your diet is up to scratch 

It’s no secret that a healthy diet is an important aspect to physical and mental health.

For many of us, diets haven’t been the top priority throughout lockdown, so now is the ideal time to get things back on track. This is important in order to avoid any further loading through our joints through potential weight gain, and to ensure that our bodies are primed for sport, come training or game day.

Ease into training

We all know how exciting it is to be back in a group setting, enjoying the sport you love. When you commence training season, easing back into things couldn’t be more important. Going too hard, too soon can cause injury. Take the first few sessions easy by training at a lighter intensity and ensuring that you perform appropriate warm ups prior to starting each session.

Sort out any niggles 

If you are putting off any COVID niggles, now – before you start your sporting season – is the time to get them sorted. The last thing you want is a small niggle to turn into a larger issue as you increase the load to your body by training and playing after a lot of time off.


If you have any pains and aches that you want sorted, don’t hesitate to book in a consultation or give us a call at the clinic.

Happy sport playing,
Your ISO Team


Back to Gym: How to Return Safely

Gyms are back in business and we couldn’t be happier! This is fantastic news for all the gym junkies out there who just can’t wait to get back to training. But this also means, we’re likely to be seeing some accidental injuries. 

For many of us, this’ll be the first time we’ve been active in a while so we’ve written up some general pointers about the importance of returning to weight or cardio training as safely as possible, to avoid the risk of injury! Here are some simple things you can do and remember.

Don’t go too hard, too soon

‘Go hard or go home’ does not apply to returning to the gym. It’s been a while since you’ve trained in a gym environment so consider the first couple of weeks as your “re-introduction”.

Weight training

Our advice is 1-2 weeks of full body LIGHTER sessions before you start training specific muscles. Think compound exercises like squats rather than leg extensions, or a machine chest press rather than a dumbbell chest fly. 

Cardio training

Build back into your training by altering speed or distance, not both initially. Our advice would be to aim to build your distance first, then slowly increase your speed over your coming training sessions.

Warm up before you train

We all know the importance of performing an adequate warm up or mobility routine prior to training, but that doesn’t mean we always do it. Warming up is extremely important and should be dynamic (not just static stretching) which can include mobility exercises, muscle activation exercises, or both. If you’re stuck for ideas, please give us a call!

Give yourself rest days

Remember, you likely haven’t done this in a while, so it’s important that you give your body enough time to rest and recover between gym sessions. Our advice would be start training 2 – 3 times a week with rest days in between. Then slowly build your days up over the coming weeks.

Cool down after your session

Cooling down properly after a session is almost as important as warming up. Again, think dynamic and mobility cool down with some static stretching added in.

Keep practicing good hygiene

What was once not a critical factor of returning to the gym, is now more important than ever. Keep yourself and others safe by continuing to use hand sanitiser, as well as washing your hands and sanitising the equipment before and after you use it. 


Have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at ISO Physiotherapy for any advice on returning to the gym – we’d be happy to help! 

If you think you may have injured yourself, don’t hesitate to book in a consultation or give us a call at the clinic.

Enjoy the freedom,
Your ISO Team


The Lowdown on Shin Splints

Shin splints are common. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or have recently taken up running, you may be experiencing pain on the front or inside of your shin. This could be a condition called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTTS), more commonly known as shin splints.

What are shin splints (MTTS)?

‘Shin splints’ is an overuse injury that is commonly seen in runners and athletes who perform a large amount of jumping movements. It is described as pain on the lower aspect of the medial (inside) or anterior (front) part of the shinbone, which is called your Tibia.

How do shin splints happen?

Shin splints is a bone stress injury that occurs when the amount of load that is put through the shinbone exceeds its capacity to tolerate the load – to the point where it becomes painful. Usually this happens when there is a sharp increase in your activity over a short period of time without enough recovery periods in order for your body to adapt. It can also happen when there is an accumulation of load over time that eventually exceeds your shin’s capacity to be able to withstand the load on it.

What is load and capacity?

When we talk about load, we are talking about things like the duration, intensity and volume of running that you do; the surface you are running on; whether there is a change in the type of activity you are performing or even change in footwear. Capacity indicates the overall strength of your calf and shin muscles, the tightness in these muscles, and the range of movement in your ankle joint.

Symptoms of shin splints

  • Pain over the distal two thirds of the shinbone that extends over a few centimetres
  • Tender to touch, especially after completing aggravating activity or exercise
  • Pain gets worse with an increase of activity
  • Possible pain in the shin at night or while resting

Factors that contribute to shin splints

  • Being female
  • Being overweight
  • A poor diet
  • Weak calf muscles
  • Previous history of bone stress injuries
  • Big spikes in training load
  • Not having enough rest or recovery

How to treat shin splints

If shin splints are not identified and treated accordingly, they could progress into a stress fracture – a serious condition where the bone gets to the point where it cannot handle any further stress and creates a fracture in the bone. This means it is crucial to identify the onset of shin splints and treat it effectively.

Here is what you should do if you think you have shin splints:

  1. Reduce/manage your load by reducing the volume/intensity/duration that you are running
  2. Increase your capacity by improving ankle range of movement, releasing tension in the tight muscles around the shin, and strengthening the muscles around the shin
  3. Prepare your joints and muscles as much as possible prior to running e.g. having appropriate warm ups and cool downs.

At ISO Physiotherapy, we can diagnose the condition, provide pain management strategies, and develop an individualised and specific management plan that will allow you to work comfortably and continue participating in the activities you love doing.

If you are experiencing further issues with your shin pain, don’t hesitate to book in a consultation or give us a call at the clinic.

Neck Pain: What You Should Know

Neck pain is one of the most common complaints we hear about from both returning and new customers; and now, with the majority of people predominantly working from home, we are hearing more complaints than ever before. 


It’s simple – a shift in our environment affects our bodies more than you might expect. Sitting in a chair, at a desk, in an office is no longer the case for many of us; with a lot of people working with makeshift work stations and therefore poor posture. 

Heightened restrictions due to COVID-19 also mean we are moving a lot less. We’re no longer travelling to and from work, and gyms are closed; meaning that some of us are moving much less than usual, leading to stiff, sore or painful necks.

What you might feel

Neck pain can present itself in various forms. You might simply experience a general stiffness from tight muscles around the area, you might have stiff joints, and you might also experience aggravated nerves passing through the neck. 

Common symptoms of neck pain:

  • Limited range of movement
  • Muscular weakness
  • Pins and needles
  • Numbness or tingling past the shoulder and down the arm

What should you do if you experience neck pain?

Neck pain can progress so getting on top of it quickly is important. Letting it linger may cause long-lasting implications and can turn the small problem into a persistent one.

Ensuring your work-from-home setup is as ergonomic as possible, is one way to lessen any neck pain you might be feeling.

Tips for setting up your work-from-home desk:

  1. Invest in a comfortable and ergonomic chair that provides back support and promotes healthy postures
  2. Place your screen at eye level to avoid excessive forward head postures and excessive eye movements which may result in neck pain
  3. Ensure appropriate lighting in the room to prevent eye strain and glare on the screen
  4. Place the keyboard and mouse in front of you at elbow level so that your wrists are neutral and your elbows are resting at 90 degrees. If possible, place an extra padding in front of the keyboard and the mouse to ensure efficient wrist positioning and support
  5. Place your feet flat on the floor

Tips for working from home:

  • Ensure you don’t stick to one posture for the whole working period! There is no perfect posture; your best posture is your next posture!
  • Ensure you have a dedicated working space (i.e. not your kitchen table and chair)
  • Take regular breaks that include gentle neck stretching and small walks to promote blood flow and change in postures
  • If persisting, get your neck pain assessed by a trusted physiotherapist 

At ISO Physiotherapy, we can diagnose the condition, provide pain management strategies, and develop an individualised and specific management plan that will allow you to work comfortably and continue participating in the activities you love doing.

To get your neck pain under control today, book in a consultation or give us a call at the clinic.

ankle-sprain physio

Sprained Ankle Treatment: What You Should Know

An ankle sprain is a common injury that can occur to both athletes and the average person. Whether you’re partaking in high-intensity physical activity, going for a run or simply taking a wrong step while out for a walk; ankle sprains are a familiar injury to us all.

What is an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in a way that isn’t usual. It occurs when your ankle ligaments are pulled or torn beyond their limits, causing instant pain or swelling.

The three red bands you see on the outside of the ankle are the most commonly injured ankle ligaments when you roll your ankle inwards—which is the most common type of ankle sprain. 

The severity of the roll or twist determines how many ligaments are damaged and how badly your overall ankle sprain is. As shown in the diagram above, the different grades indicate the different severities of an ankle sprain. 

Sprained ankle treatment

Unfortunately what happens quite often, is people are given poor advice and education regarding the management of ankle sprains.

If you sustain an ankle sprain, the first thing you should do is call your physiotherapist. It’s important to receive proper guidance early on in the injury to ensure the necessary next steps are taken. 

How we treat ankle sprains

At ISO Physiotherapy, we are well accustomed to treating ankle sprains of different severities.

We suggest using the POLICE acronym immediately: Protect, Optimally Load, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This will ensure you get your ankle back to its full mobility as soon as possible. 

Then, we suggest coming into the clinic to have your ankle assessed so that, if necessary, appropriate rehabilitation can begin. This will consist of regaining your range of motion, ankle stability, ankle strength and normal daily functioning; and is for both those people who want to return to sport ASAP or would like to simply heal their ankle sprain.

Why is rehabilitation important for ankle sprains?

Every ankle sprain is different, no matter how minor; which is why so many variables are taken into account when planning your rehabilitation. Unfortunately many people choose not to have their ankle sprain properly rehabilitated which often leads to many instability-related complications in the future. We see this happen time and time again, so if you have sustained an ankle sprain recently, please contact us and one of our physiotherapists would be happy to discuss the appropriate next steps with you.