Fat Pad syndrome refers to an injury where there is displacement of a portion of the fat pad that protects the heel. The most common complaint is persistent pain and tenderness in the heel, usually a dull ache that feels like a bruise in the middle of the heel. Fat pad syndrome can be aggravated by walking barefoot on hard surfaces like ceramic, tile and concrete.

Main contributing factors 
  • Running, triathlons and training in general
  • Prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces with inadequate footwear
  • Impact injury attributed to a blow to the heel such as landing hard
Treatment for Fat Pad Syndrome
  • RICE – rest, ice, compression & elevation
  • Supportive Footwear with cushioning
  • Padding  and strapping
  • If biomechanics is a contributory cause – orthotics may be considered
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (Nurofen etc)
What can you do?
  • Reduce or modify current activities
  • Gradually resume normal activity as symptoms resolve
  • Ice regularly
  • Footwear assessment – it may be time for a new pair with extra cushioning
  • Avoid walking barefoot
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