Heel pain can vary from moderate to severe pain that can make walking and daily tasks a chore if not treated. There are a number of different conditions which can cause Heel Pain
so it is important that your heel is properly assessed and diagnosed by a Podiatrist. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar
fasciitis. This is where the tissue becomes inflamed at the heel bone or along sole of the foot between the heel and toe. Another condition commonly referred to as a heel spur can also cause pain in
the heel. A heel spur is when a spike of bone has been pulled away from the heel bone, where the plantar fascia inserts, causing pain in the area directly under the heel on direct pressure.
Plantar fasciitis: It is the most common cause of heel pain. In this condition, the pain is more severe in the morning but becomes less painful as the day continues. It occurs due to tiny tears in
the plantar fascia.The plantar faschia is a tissue band that connects the bottom of the heel bones to the ball of the foot and is involved in walking and running, giving spring to the step. If left
untreated, the symptoms usually worsen and can lead to problems with the knee and hip and can cause back pain due to difficulty walking. Those who frequently stand or walk throughout the day or those
who run are most likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
Usually worse with the first few steps in the morning or at the initial point of activity. The latter usually gets better with continued activity (squeaky hinge analogy). Walking, running, sprinting,
hill running and jumping will increase the pain. Often, the natural response is to walk on the outside of the foot - in supination - to lessen the stress on the plantar fascia - resulting in new
A biomechanical exam by your podiatrist will help reveal these abnormalities and in turn resolve the cause of plantar fasciitis. By addressing this cause, the patient can be offered a podiatric
long-term solution to his problem.
Non Surgical Treatment
Calf stretch, silicone Heel cups, ice, night splint, physical therapy. Sometimes custom orthotics are beneficial in long standing cases. Steroid injections have been used and although they
temporarily relieve the pain, the pain usually returns within a short period of time. Plantar fasciitis tends to go away in 90% of all people in time. It can take 12-18 months for all the pain to
resolve. If the pain continues after adequate treatment, high frequency shock wave therapy (OssaTron) has been found to be beneficial, unfortunately most insurance companies do not cover this
Surgery to correct heel pain is generally only recommended if orthotic treatment has failed. There are some exceptions to this course of treatment and it is up to you and your doctor to determine the
most appropriate course of treatment. Following surgical treatment to correct heel pain the patient will generally have to continue the use of orthotics. The surgery does not correct the cause of the
heel pain. The surgery will eliminate the pain but the process that caused the pain will continue without the use of orthotics. If orthotics have been prescribed prior to surgery they generally do
not have to be remade.
You can try to avoid the things that cause heel pain to start avoid becoming overweight, where your job allows, minimise the shock to your feet from constant pounding on hard surfaces, reduce the
shocks on your heel by choosing footwear with some padding or shock-absorbing material in the heel, if you have high-arched feet or flat feet a moulded insole in your shoe may reduce the stresses on
your feet, if you have an injury to your ankle or foot, make sure you exercise afterwards to get back as much movement as possible to reduce the stresses on your foot and your heel in particular, If
you start to get heel pain, doing the above things may enable the natural healing process to get underway and the pain to improve.