What is Heel Pain?
Pain at the heel is one of the most commonly treated podiatry complaints. There are a variety of different conditions that may cause heel pain. The most common being plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and is usually worse when you first step out of bed. Other conditions that can affect the heel are spurs, bursitis, and Achilles heel pain – more commonly known as Achilles tendonitis or Achilles tendinopathy, this is especially common in runners.
What causes pain in the heel of the foot?
Feet with flat or high arches are at particular risk due to the traction of the thick tendon called the plantar fascia located at the bottom of the foot. This tendon is responsible for shock absorption when we walk, run and jump.
The plantar facial tendon inserts at the calcaneus (heel bone) and attaches at the ball of the foot. When we stand for long periods of time our feet become fatigued, causing tight muscles which results in micro tears and stress in the plantar facial tendon. Long-term stress on the plantar fascia can cause chronic pain and inflammation.
Common heel pain causes
- Incorrect biomechanics (pronation, supination)
- Acute injury or tearing of the plantar fascia similar to an ankle sprain
- Recent weight gain can contribute to overloading
- A new exercise training program
- Incorrect footwear with no support
- High arched/rigid feet may also experience abnormal tractional forces on the plantar fascia
- Nerve entrapment
The Foot Smart Podiatry can offer evidenced-based treatment plans to help with all your heel pain
- Custom foot orthotics
- Foot mobilisation
- Deep tissue massage
- Dry needling
- Correct footwear
- Personal stretching and strengthening program tailored to your condition
- Gait retraining
For more information on Heel Pain refer to this link.
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