Foot and heel pain can really impact your day. It can be a hard area to avoid aggravating through use and movement, for obvious reasons!
A very common cause of heel pain is a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. This is an inflammatory condition of the thick connective tissues of the heel and sole of the foot.
The sensation is usually described as a sharp, stabbing feeling directly under the heel. Its generally most painful first thing in the morning, or after resting for some time. Depending on the severity, this can last anywhere from a few moments, to being felt constantly throughout the day.
It can be caused by an acute injury or strain to the plantar fascia, and can also develop over time. People who are on their feet for long hours can develop this foot pain, especially if they don't have good supportive footwear.
Our bodies are pretty good at finding work arounds to keep us moving, so if you're experiencing plantar fasciitis, you may notice some compensation patterns like limping, reduced ankle mobility, taking smaller steps, or toe walking to avoid pressure to your heel. Short term, these compensation patterns are fine, but if the heel pain becomes chronic then these altered movement patterns can lead to other pains further up the body.
What can be done about Plantar Fasciitis?
Do you need help with heel pain?
Book in with our team so we can help you with a treatment plan.
Yep! We're open on Saturday April 3rd and Sunday April 4th, so if you find yourself in need of a remedial massage or myotherapy appointment we are here to help!
We will be closed on Good Friday (April 2nd) and Easter Monday (April 5th) for the weekday public holidays, but you can still catch us over the weekend.
Appointments are going fast, check our availability and book in soon!
We hope you have a happy and safe Easter!
We get asked quite a lot if a scan like an X-ray, ultrasound or MRI is needed first before a Myotherapy or Remedial Massage appointment.
Generally, the answer is no, you won't need to go for a scan first. Myotherapy and Remedial Massage are very low risk treatments that can help with your pain without needing imaging first.
What can scans show you?
X-rays will show you bony changes. This can include obvious bone injuries like breaks and fractures, as well as things like arthritis and bone spurs.
Ultrasound can pick up changes in soft tissues like muscles, tendons and bursa. There are limits on how much detail an ultrasound can pick up especially if the tissue is deep inside the body, and it can sometimes be unpleasant because the scanning device needs to be pressed against the affected area to complete the image.
MRIs provide a more in depth look at injured tissue. They can be used to observe bone, muscle and nerve changes, as well as identifying other non-musculoskeletal conditions like cancer or abnormal growths.
CT scans are a series of images of the affected area to create a cross section view of bone and soft tissue.
When might you need a scan before an appointment?
There are certainly times that it can be useful to get your GP to refer you for a scan, like:
Do you already have a scan or imaging report?
Great! Bring along the copy of your report to your appointment. Our practitioners can have a read of the findings and make sure that you understand what it means, and this can help inform our treatment approach to your pain.
Lets get started!
Book your appointment with us and we'll complete an assessment and treatment. If we think you may need some imaging we can write a referral to your GP explaining our assessment and asking them to complete further investigations so that as your health team we get you back to feeling and moving better!
Thats right! We have a new face in the clinic!
Meet Duke Autret, our new Remedial Massage Therapist!
Duke got his Remedial Massage qualifications in 2019 from Australian College of Fitness & Bodywork, which is the same college that Mel studied her Myotherapy qualifications.
He is also close to completing his certification as a Pilates instructor, and interested in leveling up to become a Myotherapist!
He's a body and movement nerd - and you know how much we love nerds here at Simple Wellness Myotherapy! In addition to a feel good remedial massage, he will be able to give you some great take home movements that help which you can use between your treatments to boost your recovery!
Our long term plan is that once Duke has finished his Pilates instructor training, we want to offer combination treatments where you can experience half the appointment as manual therapy, and the other half as a tailored pilates program.
You can book with Duke for remedial massage on Thursdays 3pm-7pm and Sundays 12pm-6pm.
Most private health insurers cover Myotherapy as part of the Extras packages. The category that Myotherapy falls under tends to vary between providers, sometimes we are in the same category as Physiotherapy, sometimes under Natural Therapies, sometimes under Remedial Massage.
We often get asked "How much will my private health pay?" but this can be impossible for us as practitioners to guess. The rebate amount varies depending on which health fund you are with and which level of cover you have. There are hundreds of options for Extras insurance. To find out your exact rebate amount, we always suggest contacting your health insurers Members Service team to ask them to check what you're entitled to on the specific level of coverage on your health insurance plan.
Some health insurers will give you a set rebate amount that doesn't go up or down if you book a longer or shorter appointment.
Some will give a higher rebate on your first ever appointment with a new practitioner, and then a lower amount on all your follow up appointments.
And some will give a percentage based rebate, so the amount changes depending on how much the appointment fee is.
All health insurers will give you a cap limit per year on the maximum amount of rebates they will give before you use up your limit. This amount varies a lot between funds, so be sure to check with your insurer what your maximum limit includes.
Most funds reset the limit at the start of the year on January 1st - however! A small number of funds restart from the financial year on July 1st (including AHM, Defence Health, and PeopleCare just to name a few) and a smaller number reset your limit from the anniversary of the date that you joined them (GU Health, looking at you!)
We have had some very kind, concerned patients who have not wanted to use their private health insurance in the past because they believed that it meant we had to give them a discount of the rebate amount. In case you've wondered how this works, let me explain:
Using the HICAPS machine in our Knoxfield Myotherapy clinic, we swipe your private health card. The machine connects to your insurer and allows them to pay the rebate amount directly to us, so that all you need to pay is the difference between the total appointment fee and what the rebate covers - this is your "gap" payment.
What happens if you don't have your card, if the card has expired, or if the HICAPS machine can't connect for some reason?
In these situations, we rely on the good old fashioned method of giving you a receipt to make a manual rebate claim. You pay the full appointment fee, and then your private health insurer pays the rebate amount directly to you. We prefer to use the HICAPS machine whenever we can so that we don't leave you with paperwork to do to get your rebate, but doing a manual claim like this is still a perfectly normal and valid way of using your extras cover!
Need an appointment? Book in with one of our friendly practitioners now!
We're finally back after a long lockdown period, and we're seeing a lot of people with very similar pain issues in their neck, shoulders and backs.
Working from home definitely seems to be taking its toll on peoples bodies, so while we're very happy to help you out by releasing those sore, tight muscles, we also wanted to give a few of our top tips on how you can shake up your daily patterns to reduce your pain.
Take Regular Breaks
We can't emphasise this one enough!! The most common thing we're hearing these last few weeks since returning to the clinic is that people are working longer hours.
Even if you have the most perfect posture, staying in one position for too long can leave you feeling stiff, sore and fatigued.
Think about it this way - if we asked you to hold your coffee cup out in front of you at shoulder height, you could probably do that. If we asked you to hold it there for 6 hours without taking a break, your coffee cup would feel like it weighed a ton, your arm would probably start to shake or cramp, and you would end up trying to lock your elbow joint into position to stabilise your arm. Your muscles would be tired and sore. You might even have trouble allowing your arm to lower because you had been stuck in that position for so long, or find that trying to raise your arm again afterwards felt like you'd been to the gym for 10 hours.
Try to take a quick movement break at least once per hour. This could be as little as just standing up, stretching your arms above your head, rolling your shoulders or doing a little spinal twist. You could use this chance to drink some water, go to the toilet, make a cup of tea, or stand in the sun.
Trust us, your body will thank you for the movement and the chance to reposition.
Set Up Your Workstation
You're probably not the only one working from your home right now. We know a lot of people have to share their work from home space with partners and kids, and theres only so much space to go around.
As best you can, try to set up your workspace so that your equipment is at the right height. This means screens at eye level, mouse and keyboard positioned so your arms can be at 90 degrees, and your chair is at the height that allows you to have your feet resting comfortably.
We know this isn't possible for everyone. Some patients we've seen this last week or so have been telling us they have to work from a low coffee table, or at a high kitchen bench, or even working from bed. If this is your situation, please keep in mind that regular breaks are going to be even more important for you!
Stretch and Move!
There are plenty of easily available online stretching and movement classes that you can use to help guide you through some feel-good motions.
Our favourite is Erica Webb's online yoga and pilates studio, which offers a great variety of classes including what Erica calls "movement snacks" which are short 5-10 minute videos that you can do anywhere, any time! Memberships to Erica's studio are less than $10 a week, and include a selection of on-demand classes and live yoga classes.
Set Strong Work/Home Boundaries
The blurring of the line between work and home has been strong this last year! We're hearing from people that they are often logging in early or continuing to work late to try to get ahead of deadlines or hectic work weeks - and often these extra hours are not even paid hours of overtime!
A once in a while overtime session may be occasionally needed, but we encourage you to try to avoid the temptation of working longer hours on a regular basis.
Use Your Self Care Tools
Massage balls, foam rollers, magnesium creams, heat packs - all of these tools that we talk about in the clinic are really great ways that you can help reduce tightness and tension in your body between treatments with us.
If you're not entirely sure how to use them, ask us at your next appointment and we can show you the best way to get into your problem areas using tools you already have, and give you recommendations of new self care tools that are a great investment for your health! (We don't sell any of these products, but we can direct you to reputable stores or websites that you can purchase from)
Book a Treatment!
Now that you can access manual therapies again, book in with us! We'll help you make some quick improvements to tight aching muscles, and help you plan for reducing pain while you continue to work from home or once you get back to your office!
After the nearly 3 month COVID lockdown, we're very happy to say that Myotherapy and Remedial Massage are back from Wednesday 28th October!
We've moved a few things around in the clinic, and we can't wait to welcome you back and resume your treatment plan.
We've given the first choice of appointments to those of you we know have been waiting patiently for this day, but we'll have our full online booking system up and running again very soon.
Thanks for your support throughout this year!
We were really hoping to have good news by this point that we would be reopening from Sept 14th on track following the 6 week Stage 4 Restrictions.
Sadly, things have changed, and the Victorian Government have extended the restriction period by at least 2 weeks at the current Stage 4 level restrictions.
Its still unclear to us or to our association whether Myotherapy and Remedial Massage will be able to reopen on Sept 28th, or if we need to wait for the next stage around Oct 26th.
We know you're hurting. We aim to let you know some good news as soon as possible.
Stay safe, we'll get through this together!
When you have chronic pain, you get very familiar with pain that makes itself known every day. You may have some good days and some bad days, but either way its good to have a toolkit of things you can do at home to help reduce, manage or avoid pain flare ups.
This is even more important now, while Melbourne is under Stage 4 Restrictions in response to COVID19 and seeing your Myotherapist is no longer an option.
Your toolkit will likely be different to someone elses, but these are some of the things that you can incorporate at home to help keep pain as low as possible.
Gentle movement - Walking, yoga, pilates, dancing, cycling, and other low impact exercises to keep your joints and muscles mobile. What you can achieve may change day by day, work within your own limits. There are plenty of free or affordable online options, my favourite that I'm personally using throughout lockdown is Erica Webb Yoga & Pilates virtual studio ($37 a month for unlimited classes)
Stretching - Make time to stretch each day, especially the muscles that feel tightest. If you're working from home, its really easy to get stuck sitting for hours at your desk - or couch, coffee table, hammock, whatever your work from home set up looks like.
Self care tools - Foam rollers, tennis balls and spiky balls, acupressure mats, TENS machines: these can all help reduce muscle pain and tension. Don't have one? You can pick these up cheap online on eBay or through sports stores.
Hot or cold therapy - Heat packs, hot water bottles, electric blankets to keep you warm and take away some of the ache. Ice packs or cool compresses can work better for acute inflammation areas or for numbing persistent pain.
Nutrition and hydration - Eat well, drink water, and avoid foods that tend to flare up your pain. Pre-plan meals and snacks so you can have some easy to grab options on bad pain days where you don't have the energy to cook (or clean!)
Stress management - Easier said than done during a pandemic, right? Find things that bring down your stress levels, that will be different for each person, but some classics include reading, listening to music, taking a nap, having a warm soak in epsom salts, booking a telehealth appointment with a counsellor, writing in a journal.
Seek support - Don't suffer alone! Reach out for a conversation with your friends, family, coworkers, neighbours. Don't forget there are plenty of services to support you, including talking with your GP, a counsellor, and support groups online.
Pain relief - I know a lot of our patients choose not to use pain relievers, but in these times where its hard to get access to hands on treatments that help, you may find that taking pain relief is helpful. This may include prescribed medications from your GP or over the counter recommendations from your pharmacist.
Gels and creams - There are a heap of options for topical pain creams, the most commonly used ones include Deep Heat, Fisiocrem, and Voltaren. My personal favourite is a non-pharmaceutical blend by Doterra called Ice Blue Rub, its got a cooling menthol effect that is fairly long lasting, but it is on the pricey side for a cream. A little goes a long way!
Sleep - What can you do to optimise your sleep cycle? A well rested body has the best opportunities to repair and recover. Some things to experiment with are an earlier bed time, switching off screens well before bed, changing your pillow, listening to relaxing music.
We hope it won't be long now until we're able to offer hands on treatments again. As soon as we know more, we'll make an announcement and get our online booking page active again.
In short: Yes, we will be closing our doors again for a short 6 week period.
The new restrictions coming into place today have big consequences for almost all Melbourne residents, but lets talk the specifics of what this means in relation to your Myotherapy or Remedial Massage treatment plan.
We've been advised that Myotherapy and Remedial Massage can't continue. Yes, we do screen every person we see, we clean thoroughly between every single appointment, and therapists and patients are both wearing masks. We've done everything we can to mitigate risks, and follow the ever-changing rules so we can keep you safe. But the DHHS have asked us to help by taking a temporary break.
There are significant fines for businesses and individuals who don't adhere to the new restrictions. The fines for a business staying open when they are not permitted is up to $10,000, and the fine for an individual is $1652. Thats a very expensive Myotherapy treatment!
Myotherapists and Remedial Massage Therapists are not alone in this restriction though. In fact, it will effect all Allied Health practitioners in some ways. Over the last few days the advice has changed, depending who you ask, but in general it appears that urgent care can still be accessed from Allied Health providers like Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors. The initial advice was that all patients would need a referral in the form of an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) or Chronic Disease Management Plan, but I have now seen the Chiropractic Association indicating that referrals may not be needed.
If you're in doubt over whether you can be seen by someone for urgent care, your GP is always a safe bet. They will be able to clarify which Allied Health practitioners you are able to see, and may also be able to give you additional guidance or prescribe you medication if its needed. Dr Wajib Dib at Together Medical Family Practice is a fantastic bulk billing GP, and is still taking new patients for phone consultations.
What does "urgent care" mean?
Urgent care may include things like:
Who should you see for urgent care?
We know and trust these local Allied Health practitioners:
I'm very sad to be closing my doors again, for the third time this year. One of the hardest parts for you, my local Knox and outer Eastern burbs patients, is that our local government area is actually one of the lowest in all of Melbourne for total and active cases. While other areas have huge rising numbers of cases, our area stays fairly low risk. I'm sorry I can't be here for you for face to face support for these next 6 weeks, but my phone and email are always here to offer advice, send you links to exercises and self care, or to answer questions.
As we've all seen over these last few weeks, there are a small number of people doing the wrong things, and unfortunately its come to that time where its now impacting everyone with a blanket restriction across the whole Melbourne Metro area.
Thank you for doing the right thing so we all get through this quicker. Thanks for getting tested if you show symptoms. Thanks for staying home til you get those test results.
Can't wait to see you again soon!
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We have a team of great practitioners available 7 days a week at our Knoxfield clinic.