Heel spurs: What you need to know

A heel spur is a condition where a calcium deposit grows between the heel and arch of the foot. Heels spurs may happen independently or may be related to an underlying health condition. People often assume that heels spurs are the cause of any pain in the heel, but other factors can also cause heel pain.

This video briefly explains the symptoms of heel spurs, as well as other causes of heel pain. It also discusses the causes, risk factors, and treatments for the condition.

Tips for picking good shoes

Two things we need to remember for picking good shoes:

1. The footwear gives good support

Growing feet is between 5-15 years old. This is when skeletal maturity and muscular changes happen to grow into the full mature size. We need to select good support to prevent injury and have a stable foot support as their feet are growing and changing.

2. Good shoes last a year (approximately 10 months)

Boys are more rough on shoes. Children have a lot of activities in a day, we need to select shoes that would give more stability that will help them support their feet throughout the day. This will minimize the aches and growing pains the children would experience.

How to test for good support or stability:

1. Bend

2. Twist

3. Heel counter squeeze

A shoe that is much stable and has good support, will last longer, shoes with good technology or are well made are mostly between $80-$100.

If your child has foot pain, changing to a good footwear is a good start, however, if it is still an issue, that's why we are here. We fix foot pain all day for children and adults. Give us a call 07 4942 5016.


One of the most dreaded of words your GP could say to you is ‘I think you have arthritis’. Does this mean the end of your running career? Not necessarily. Before you hang up your running shoes, let’s look at the facts.

Running and Osteoarthritis

Many studies have examined whether runners have more Osteoarthritis (OA) than less active people. Most of these studies focus on the knee joint and ask, ‘Are we wearing out our knees?’ The overriding conclusion seems to be no. Moderate exercise, including running, will not damage your joints or cause OA, and if you already have some arthritis present it will not speed up the process. Exercise is a treatment for established OA and will reduce pain and disability.

Running with an injury, however, may increase your OA risk. The muscles supporting the knee joint are vitally important since they absorb impact when the foot hits the ground. If they are weak or misaligned, this impact through the bone and cartilage is unevenly distributed, which can lead to cartilage damage and overgrowth of bone. Muscles that have been gradually trained with good biomechanics seem to give the best protection to joints.

Reassuring Evidence

Running on normal joints is not going to give you arthritisand running on joints which have some OA changes will not speed up the process. Even if you’re running pain-free right now, have a gait analysis (where you’re filmed running) to ensure you are wearing the right trainers. A full assessment of your posture and biomechanics might uncover weaknesses and imbalances you were unaware of.

If you are overweight, getting down to a healthy weight will really benefit your joints. The use of nutritional supplements in OA is controversial. 

You need to strengthen all the muscles supporting your joints to protect them so aim to include regular cross-training and strength work with weights in your routine. Do not run when you’re injured and do not ignore twinges. Now you know the facts, pull on your trainers and get out there.

New Year's Resolutions!

Does your new year’s resolution involve getting more active? Keep reading on! Whether it be running, playing a new sport, joining the gym or just being on your feet more often – walking the dog, walking in the morning and/or afternoon. As ambitious as we are in the new year, some of us run out of time, or even run too much and get hurt; life events unfortunately get in the way or we even get lazy!

If you’re just starting out I like to keep things simple. This could be as simple as 30 minutes of activity everyday (or even every second day) for walking; eventually running up to 5km regularly or just to feel healthier. You’re not only doing this for yourself but you can also share the impact of exercise by feeling better about yourself and in turn perhaps encourage others around you to join or just be in a better mindset, physically and mentally for others.

If you are just getting started I’d suggest slowly building up the amount of activity that you’re doing to prevent any injuries and to avoid from burning out. In the unfortunate events of getting injured such as a sore foot from perhaps going too hard too soon we can certainly give you treatment and advice to keep you on track of your fitness goals!

Your child has flat feet, should you be concerned?

Treatment is not always required for children with flat feet. If your child is less than six years of age, they still have the potential to keep growing and changing and to develop an ‘ideal’ arch height.

You should be concerned if your child has only one flat foot or if they no longer want to participate in sports, and develops some of the symptoms below:

  • Generalised lower limb and foot pain during and after increased activity

  • Growing pains’, or leg pain that occurs in the evening and may disturb sleep

  • Awkward gait; poor coordination; clumsiness

  • Tired or easily fatigued legs (don’t want to do the grocery shopping)

  • Difficulty keeping up with their peers during sport and physical activity, sometimes no longer wanting to participate

  • Possible increased risk of growth plate problems such as Sever’s Disease and Osgood Schlatter’s disease

It is important to note that not all children with flat feet will develop symptoms!

What is the treatment of this condition?

If treatment is necessary for your child, this will involve supportive footwear and foot and lower limb strengthening exercises. Non-customised or customised foot supports (orthotics) may also be recommended. Supportive footwear and foot supports can quickly reduce a child’s symptoms and assist in improving their coordination and proprioception.

They also have a greater long-term benefit in encouraging normal development whilst reducing the likelihood of lower limb related problems such as foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain in adulthood.

Please give Pioneer Podiatry a call today if you have any concerns regarding your child’s foot posture or development.

Do I have heel pain?

Heel pain is the pain in the heel area that can vary in severity and location. It is most common in adults.
The heel is the first bone to contact the ground when walking and takes the full force of impact and the resulting shock of bearing weight during motion.

Do you have it?

The primary symptom is the pain in the heel area that varies in severity and location. The pain is commonly intense when getting out of bed or a chair. The pain often lessens when walking.

What Causes It?

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a stretching of the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs from the ball of foot through the arch and is attached to the heel. It is that attachment which becomes aggravated and typically causes pain after being on your feet for lengths of time. Abnormal motion of the foot (pronation) is one cause of plantar fasciitis.
Heel spurs, which are abnormal bone growths coming off the heel, can also cause heel pain. Other causes include repetitive stress or shock to the heel, standing for prolonged periods or osteoarthritis.

How do you fix it?

1. Wear properly fitting shoes. - Our Podiatrists can give you the best range of footwear choices
2. Good Orthotics or Insoles – we have state-of-the-art foot scanning technology that can make you Customised Orthotics
3. Maintain a healthy weight – Exercise 30 minutes daily.
4. Exercise and do foot stretches – Our Podiatrists can recommend special Foot Stretching exercises for you.

Is it a toenail fungal infection?

If your toenails are crackeddiscolouredthicker than they should be or painful, you may wonder if you have a fungal nail infection. The organisms that cause fungal nail infections are the same ones that cause tinea (athletes foot) in the skin.

How does a fungal toenail infection progress?

At first, you may only see a white or yellow spot under your nail. Over time, this spreads and can turn your whole nail white, yellow, green or black.

Your nail may thicken and could be hard to trim. Many people notice that their nail starts to curl up or down or loosens from the nail bed. Or it could become brittle and crumble when you touch it.

It’s easy to ignore fungal nail infections at first, since you may not have any pain. But if left untreated, it can hurt to put any pressure on the area. If an infection gets bad enough, it can even become hard to walk.


An EFFECTIVE solution to fix ugly fungal toenails!

Finally, a solution is now available for your embarrassing fungal toenail infections! With Cold Laser treatment, you can look forward to no longer needing to hide your toenails anymore, and you can stop worrying about spreading it to family and friends.

Cold Laser is the most effective treatment for fungal nail infections currently available, and we’re delighted to now be offering it to our patients in the Mackay and Sarina region. This treatment means no more ineffective nail paints or creams, no more oral medications with common and unpleasant side effects, or painful hot laserprocedures.

Are you ready to have beautiful and healthy toenails again? Click here, we can help. 

Do you have an ingrowing toenail?

A lot of people suffer the pain and frustration of ingrown toenails. Unfortunately, some cases are much worse than others and refuse to clear up on their own. Those cases, although not common, lead to surgery to remove part or all of the nail. But how do you determine if surgery might be necessary for this condition? 

Do you have:

  • A very sore toenail?

  • Redness, swelling, pus, or blood coming from the sides of your nail?

  • Toenails that grow downwards or curl into your toe?

  • Toenails that have been treated before but have just grown back exactly the same?

Should I see my GP first? 

No, there is no need to see your GP first, and you do not need a referral from your GP to see us.  It is just like seeing a dentist for a sore tooth! Our foot doctors are fully qualified to treat your ingrowing toenail, and if antibiotics are needed we will talk with your GP directly. 

How is it treated?

At Pioneer Podiatry, our initial treatment goal is relieving pain and clearing infection or inflammation. If the toe is not infected, your podiatrist may be able to carefully trim the ingrown nail edge, without any discomfort. An infected toe usually requires removing the edge (a portion of the ingrown toenail) or, in some cases, the entire nail.

If your ingrown nail is reoccurring, we can perform a procedure called a partial nail avulsion with matrix phenolisation.

Once the procedure has healed, the nail will be a little bit narrower. It is difficult to tell that there has even been a procedure in most cases.

Our Podiatrists are experts at treating ingrowing toenails and specialise in treatment with minimal pain and fuss, so don’t delay in getting your ingrowing toenail fixed!

How can video gait analysis help you?

Whether you are looking to set a new personal record or simply get started, video gait analysis can help you optimize your running form and prepare your body for running. It can also help you to choose the right running shoes, and prevent injuries before they occur.

How does video gait analysis work?

Video gait analysis seeks to identify the root of an injury or a bad habit that may lead to one. It usually starts with an evaluation of strength and flexibility that includes some manipulation on an examination table and a series of exercises, followed by a running session on a treadmill in front of a video camera.

The program can identify any problem that might be the root of a recurring injury. Here’s how it helps runners:

  • Correct form issues
  • Prevent injury
  • Make a more informed decision on what running shoe to buy. A gait analysis can examine the issues in your form depending on your running shoes. Be sure to wear shoes you’re familiar with during an analysis since new footwear can temporarily cause changes in form.

Why does video gait analysis work?

Video gait analysis uses software to make assessments of running style.  The software can help runners find issues by highlighting biomechanical patterns with angles, measurements, and drawing shapes for precise feedback.  Podiatrists can make an objective gait and analysis, which runners can easily see via high-quality video footage.

Video Gait Analysis Software will Provide the Following:

  • Slow-Motion Video Analysis
  • Frame-By-Frame Video Analysis
  • Joint Angle Analysis
  • Multi-Angle Video Gait Analysis

Pioneer Podiatry is proud to help runners improve their efficiency and form. Prevent an injury before it is too late by making an appointment today.