SportsMed podiatrists have extensive experience in diagnosing the cause of heel pain. We are well equipped to apply a range of different, personalised treatment methods. Heel pain is one of the most common conditions treated by podiatrists and affects patients of varying ages and activity levels. There are two key factors that can help determine the condition you may have. These are both your age and the specific location of pain.
Who gets heel pain?
Anybody can be affected by heel pain. Heel pain can occur in children often between the ages of 8 and 13 as they become increasingly active and during a growth phase. Patients in their 50’s – 70’s can also develop heel pain. They suffer a completely different condition compared to younger children. Patients between these age groups also can develop pain. ranging from athletes, arthritis sufferers to those standing on their feet for long periods at work.
What are some causes of Pain in your heels?
Heel pain has many causes including poor biomechanics (abnormalities in the way we walk). This can place increased stress or pressure on the heel and soft tissues that attach to it. The stress may result from injury, repetitive strain while walking or running, standing on hard surfaces, wearing poor footwear, or being overweight. Some systemic diseases or arthritic conditions can also contribute to heel pain.
Heel pain types
- Plantar Fasciitis: An inflammation of the long band of fibrous tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the heel and the ball of the foot. The inflammation may be 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.
- Sever’s Disease: In children 8 – 13 years, an inflammation of the calcaneal epiphyseal plate (growth plate) in the back of the heel.
- Bursitis: An inflamed bursa is a small irritated sack of fluid at the back of the heel.
- Also affecting the heel are soft tissue growths, Haglunds Deformity (bone enlargement at the back of the heel), bruises, stress fractures and possible nerve entrapment.
Heel Pain Treatment:
- Orthotic devices: To correct biomechanical abnormalities.
- Heel raises/cups
- Shoe wear advice
- Strapping techniques
- Strengthening and stretching programmes
- Extracorporal shock wave therapy: This is a specialized treatment for addressing chronic long-standing injuries which involve repeatedly targeting the affected area with shock waves to create new blood flow and promote tissue healing. Extracorporal 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.