Heel pain trial for sufferers

Heel pain trial for sufferers

22 Jun 2010

La Trobe University is offering free treatment to people between the ages of 18 and 80 who have been experiencing pain below the heel for 8 weeks or more. 

Andrew McMillan from the Department of Podiatry at La Trobe University, says the aim of this project is to test the effect of an anti-inflammatory injection for treatment for chronic heel pain in adults.

‘I will be using medical ultrasound to examine the tissues beneath the heel and also to guide the injection to the targeted area. The technique has previously been shown to improve accuracy and we are hoping for positive results,’ he says.

Through his research Mr McMillan will put a commonly prescribed treatment to the test, by comparing the injected medication with a placebo treatment.   He says two clinical trials have been conducted, one as far back as the 1950s, however the evidence from these studies is inconclusive due to small numbers of trial participants.

‘Heel pain is a common condition which affects 10 per cent of the Australian population at some time in their life.  The actual cause is not well understood but it is generally accepted that the pain is due to stress on a tendon-like structure that spans to the bottom of the foot, known as the “plantar fascia”.  

Mr McMillan will ask each participant about their heel pain, conduct a thorough physical assessment, and examine the plantar fascia with medical ultrasound to reach a diagnosis. Following this, participants will be given the heel injection and also asked to complete a stretching program to reduce their pain. Participants will then be observed over a period of three months to monitor the treatment progress.

Mr McMillan will be recruiting participants until October 2010, to learn more about the eligibility requirements please contact:

Mr Andrew McMillan

E: a.mcmillan@latrobe.edu.au
T: 03 9479 5785
W: www.latrobe.edu.au/mrc/heelpain.html




Media Enquiries:

Lisa Prowling
La Trobe University Communications Officer
E: L.Prowling@latrobe.edu.au
T: 03 9479 5517






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