There are many New Zealanders suffering through persistent heel pain that is why the country’s first heel pain clinic has now opened at SportsMed. With 3 experienced podiatrists they have seen it and treated it all, making them well equipped to diagnose the problem and apply a range of different treatment methods only available at the heel pain clinic.
Heel pain is one of the most common conditions treated by podiatrists. It is often a message that something is in need of medical attention. Pain that occurs right after an injury or early in an illness may play a protective role, often warning us about the damage we have suffered.
Who gets heel pain?
Heel pain is a problem which affects people of all ages and vocations, whether they are active or not and it comes in many different forms. Heel pain can also occur in children usually between the ages of 8 and 13, as they become increasingly active in sporting activities and during the growing phase.
The causes of heel pain
While heel pain has many causes, it is usually the result of poor biomechanics (abnormalities in the way we walk). This can place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues attached to it. The stress may result from injury, or a bruise incurred while walking, running or jumping on hard surfaces: wearing poorly constructed footwear : or being significantly over weight. Systemic diseases such as arthritis can also contribute to heel pain.
Types of heel pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with an inflammation of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot. The inflammation of this arch area is called plantar fasciitis. The inflammation maybe aggravated by shoes that lack appropriate support and by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies an athletic lifestyle.
- Achilles Tendinopathy
Pain and inflammation of the tendon at the back of the heel that connects the calf muscle to the foot.
Often found in children between the ages of 8 – 13 years and is an inflammation of the calcaneal epiphyseal plate (growth plate) in the back of the heel.
An inflamed bursa is a small irritated sack of fluid at the back of the heel.
Other types of heel pain include
Soft tissue growths, Haglunds deformity (bone enlargement at the back of the heel), bruises or stress fractures and possible nerve entrapment.
Overcoming the problem/Treatment
At the heel pain clinic we provide personalized treatment programs to suit the patient's specific pain, injury and other needs.
Treatments include -orthotic devices (to correct biomechanical abnormalities)
-shoe wear advice
-strengthening & stretch programs
The heel pain clinic is also the only South Island practice of any kind to offer extra corporeal shock wave therapy. This is a specialized treatment for addressing chronic long-standing injuries which involves repeatedly targeting the affected area with shock waves to create new blood flow and promote tissue healing.
Extra corporal shock wave therapy is now used worldwide with studies showing it to be effective in about 70% of cases. With only one session a week for three weeks, your heel pain can disappear!
If heel pain is bugging you, call 366 0620 to set up an appointment with one of the heel pain clinic's experienced podiatrists. No referral is necessary.
How Do I Book an appointment? Just Ring SportsMed to book on (03) 366 0620
Be sure to let us know if you are an ACC patient, New or Returning Patient.
Call us now on (03) 366 0620 now to find a time that suits you or Email us using the contact form