Date: 01/03/2002

If you suffer from a sharp pain in the arch or the heel of the foot then UWS Podiatry Honours student Joel Radford needs you!

Joel and a team of UWS podiatry researchers are looking for people who suffer from these problems to take part in a study into the treatments of these conditions.

According to Joel, heel or arch pain is often caused by plantar fasciitis, which occurs when a ligament-like structure that spans under the foot is overstretched and damaged.

"The associated pain can prevent sufferers from doing basic activities such as standing for long periods of time, walking or running," says Joel.

"People who play sport, particularly those involved in running, are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis because exercise puts more stretch on the ligament and it can become inflamed.

"Others who are likely to suffer from the condition are those in their 40s to 70s - especially if they have recently gained weight or have started to walk for health reasons."

Joel says he plans to investigate how effective short-term treatments are at reducing the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis.

"Taping and stretching are commonly used to reduce the pain felt by people with plantar fasciitis in the short-term. The aim of our study is to determine whether stretching alone is effective at improving health related quality-of-life in people who suffer from plantar fasciitis," said Joel.

Participants in the study must be over 18 with arch and/or heel pain and not currently wearing foot orthoses - a common long-term treatment used to reduce the arch or heel symptoms.

Participants in the study will be required to attend UWS Campbelltown Campus Health Science Clinic for two free appointments over 2-3 weeks, each time filling out a short questionnaire which will focus on their symptoms. Participants will receive free foot orthoses for taking part in the study.

If you would like to participate in this study please contact Joel Radford on 0402 426 153 or the UWS UniClinic at Campbelltown (02) 4620 3700.

For more information or requests for interviews please contact:
Amanda Whibley, Media Officer (02) 9678 7472 or 0418 438 399 2 (02) 9678 7250
Karl Landorf, Podiatry Lecturer, 4620 3758