After nearly 15 years treating heel pain at different heel clinics in Australia, Heal My Heel's director and practitioner, musculoskeletal podiatrist Steve Lyford, saw the need for an alternative to the typical, stock-standard treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles related pathologies, and other types of heel pain. He recognised a sense of frustration and confusion amongst heel pain sufferers due to the myriad of different treatment options and conflicting recommendations, and also dissatisfaction as a result of poor treatment outcomes.
Consequently Steve devised his comprehensive "Treatment & Rehabilitation Programs", and uses them as the basis for Heal My Heel’s treatment of Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Related Pathologies, Childhood Sever’s, etc.
Providing essential reference and firm guidelines, they contain footwear advice, specific stretches and exercises, educational information, do's and don't's and tips and tricks. A Rehab Program combined with an informative and educational consultation with Steve (along with perhaps some strapping, and a tutorial on how to apply it yourself), is often all that is required to set you on the path to a pain free heel.
If, however, your pain is more persistent or longstanding, and if inefficient foot function is the main cause of your pain, you may need a little extra help to heal your heel and keep it permanently pain-free. Inefficient foot function which creates a repetitive strain on the Plantar Fascia/Achilles Tendon (which directly leads to micro-tearing of the fibres), is the main cause of most chronic heel pain, and it may be necessary to reduce this tension in order to facilitate the healing process and repair the damaged tissue.
Our ARC (Advanced Rearfoot Control) Orthotics are different from the standard arch-based custom orthotics predominantly used in Australia (and which you may have had before.) They are specifically designed by Steve to reduce as much tension as possible on the Plantar Fascia/Achilles Tendon (which can also significantly reduce the pain of Sever's Disease in children). They are also exceptionally comfortable because of this design difference, and can be purpose made to fit in any style of shoe. Fine-tuned over many years, (and combining various ideas and techniques), he feels that these orthotics are able to provide better correction, control and stability for the “foundations” of our bodies - our feet. For more information on these tension-reducing, alignment-correcting inserts go to “Our Treatment” page.
Heal My Heel's other main point of difference is that we DO NOT USE shock wave therapy to stimulate the healing response in the damaged tissue. Instead we utilise the highly effective, Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). This is achieved via the use of a state-of-the-art (home-use) LLLT device which can be rented from us at a low weekly cost (with the option to purchase at any time), and used by you in the comfort of your own home. Its pain reducing and healing abilities are both proven and well documented, and we see a 98% continuation rate (after the initial week’s rental). Many of our patients who have had little previous success with shock wave therapy achieve fantastic results with this device, and approximately 80% of our patients ultimately opt to purchase it. For more information on this fantastic, healing device go to “Our Treatment” page.
Whatever your treatment plan ultimately consists of, (determined by the causes of your heel pain, your treatment preferences, and your budget), you can rest assured that we will do everything possible to heal your heel, and keep you permanently pain-free.
So if you’ve been suffering with Plantar Fasciitis or any other type of heel pain for months or even years, having tried everything to no avail, you should definitely give Heal My Heel's unique and comprehensive approach a try. Resolving stubborn, so-called “treatment resistant” cases is our special interest.
If on the other hand, you’ve only had it for a week or two, our advice would be don’t take the risk of hoping it goes away on its own. It’s probably been “brewing” for a long time, and research has shown that the earlier you can take steps to counter the processes that have brought it about, the less the likelihood of it developing into a longstanding, chronic case, or a recurrence in the future.
Having built up his knowledge and expertise in four countries (New Zealand, Australia, England and the United States), Steve passionately shares his knowledge with patients through his excellent communication skills, breaking down complex biomechanical explanations into language that is easily comprehended.
Over the years, his primary focus has been in the field of musculoskeletal podiatry, and since 2005 he has specialised in, and worked extensively treating the pathologies that cause heel pain. Steve has treated and resolved literally thousands of heel pain cases, from Plantar Fasciitis to Achilles related pathologies, to Sever’s Disease in children, and others, all with extremely high success rates.
Steve has conducted a great deal of research and personal testing of the myriad of different types and styles of orthotics available and therefore has a great understanding of what different orthotics are capable of for different foot types, and for different problems. He has also developed his own style of orthotic, combining different ideas and techniques, and having fine-tuned it over several years. He feels it more effectively corrects and controls inefficient foot and lower limb biomechanics and can more effectively reduce the strain on the Plantar Fascia/Achilles Tendon, while at the same time being more comfortable for the wearer.
More recently Steve has completed courses in Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), and has conducted extensive research, and trialled and tested various home-use LLLT devices, analysing their effects on heel pain related pathologies. After completely healing his own extremely persistent, long-standing and painful case of “tennis elbow” (Forearm Tendonitis) with a home use LLLT device, he was even more convinced it could be successfully utilised in a clinical situation (for Heal My Heel).
He feels “treatment-resistant” or incurable cases of Plantar Fasciitis are actually quite rare, and feels with the right treatment plan, the vast majority of cases can be resolved. Consequently, he has a special interest in stubborn, longstanding cases of Plantar Fasciitis and other types of heel pain.