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5th March 2021
Why am I suffering from heel pain?
When heel pain and discomfort becomes an issue, it can be a major disruption to your day-to-day routine, especially if you lead a busy, active life. Let’s face it; we need our feet and legs for the most basic daily tasks, whether it’s driving, exercising or simply walking. When you’re suffering from heel pain, all these basic tasks can become much more challenging, and that can have negative consequences on your quality of life.
What is Heel pain?
Heel pain is one of the most common complaints we receive from our patients. As Podiatrists we see this problem every day ranging from children to adults. Overuse or injury to the heel may trigger heel pain. This can range anywhere from mild to disabling. The overwhelming majority of heel pain in adults can be attributed to one condition, Plantar Fasciitis. The pain commonly occurs at the bottom of the foot called the plantar surface and may extend into the arch of the foot.
What causes Heel pain?
Often there has been an increase in load placed on your lower limb that your body has not had the capacity to deal with resulting in injury. This increase in load may include:
- Jobs that require lots of walking on hard surfaces
- Prolonged barefoot on hard surfaces
- Starting a new exercise program; or increasing your training intensity/volume or style
- Weight gain
- Wearing old, worn out footwear; high heels
Certain foot types may increase your likelihood of developing heel pain – such as tight calf muscles, weak intrinsic foot muscles, high arch rigid feet with poor shock absorption etc.
Certain factors may increase the risk of developing heel pain and/or impair your body’s own ability to repair the injury – such as Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, menopause, obesity, old age, stress, inadequate sleep.
Heel pain can occur from a one-time incident/injury however it is much more likely due to an overuse injury. Do you suffer from heel pain? Contact us today to get a treatment plan in order.
What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Heel pain usually affects just one foot, but it can affect both feet. Common symptoms may include:
- Pain under the heel which may extend into the arch
- Heel pain is usually worse the first few steps in the morning and after rest periods during the day
- Heel pain often aggravated by prolonged standing, walking or running, especially on hard surfaces
- As the condition progresses, patients may experience burning, numbness and throbbing around the heel when resting at night
What is the best treatment for heel pain?
Heel pain is a common condition yet complex in nature, where a ‘one size fits all’ treatment approach often fails. How we manage heel pain for one person may be quite different to the next person. We take into consideration factors such has occupation, age, body weight, how long have you had heel pain for, how capable is your body of healing itself?
After a detailed Initial Biomechanical Assessment at Foundation Podiatry Townsville, we will be able to recommend to most appropriate treatment for your heel pain. We utilise the latest treatment options with a personalised approach to make you pain free in the shortest possible time!
Treatment options for heel pain may include:
- Medical Laser Therapy
- Shockwave Therapy
- Mobility, Balance & Strength exercises
- Medical Acupuncture
- Custom Foot Orthoses
What can I do to reduce the likelihood of developing heel pain in the first place?
- Wear suitable footwear (avoid high heels and pointy toes)
- Reduce barefoot time on hard surfaces (but don’t avoid barefoot altogether)
- Stretch calf muscles regularly
- Roll/ massage plantar surface of foot regularly
- Slowly increase intensity/ frequency of exercise
- Maintain a healthy body weight
How Can Foundation Podiatry Help You?
At Foundation Podiatry, we pride ourselves on being a locally owned and operated business. Our Podiatrists, Hayley, Chris and Emma have over 45 years’ combined experience working with heel pain and other complex foot, ankle and lower limb conditions. We treat people as individuals and offer specific treatment options for specific needs. If you’re suffering from heel pain, get in touch with us to see how our varied treatment options and personalised approach can help you.