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