What is the common cause of heel pain and how to manage it?
As podiatrists, we commonly see patients suffering from heel pain. Heel pain can be an indicator of many different conditions including the following; plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, bursitis and heel spurs. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis and what causes it?
Although it was previously thought to be an inflammatory condition, research has recently declared it a degenerative condition, due to microtears in the plantar fascia. The Plantar fascia is a band that supports the arch of the foot, it connects from your heel to the base of your toes. The condition is usually caused by multiple factors, however often biomechanical imbalances are involved. These biomechanical imbalances result in repetitive strain of the structure and thus microtearing.
Who is most likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis?
Although anyone can suffer from plantar fasciitis, research has told us that it is most common in the following patients;
- Middle-aged people
- Long distance runners
- Obese people
- Military patients
What are the signs and symptoms?
If you have plantar fasciitis you will most likely experience the following symptoms;
- Medial plantar heel pain
- Pain when weight bearing
- Pain on first few steps after getting out of bed
- Pain improves with rest
- Pain that gradually gets worse over time
How can it be managed?
Research has revealed that the following treatments may help reduce pain/resolve the condition;
- anti-inflammatory medication
- Focused stretching of the plantar fascia and the calves
- Footwear modifications
- Shockwave therapy
- Dry needling
- Massage and icing
If conservative treatments fail after 6-12 months, surgery may also be considered.
How can we help you at Foot Centre Group?
At Foot Centre Group we believe that each and every patient is different and will respond differently to treatments. We highly value our patients’ time, so we ensure our consultations are precise and efficient. Your podiatrist will take a thorough history of your pain, as well as assess you biomechanically to diagnose your condition. We assess each and every case individually and decide upon a treatment plan that is specific to our patients needs.
Depending on the patient, we generally like to begin our treatment path with conservative measures (such as stretching/strengthening, taping, massage and icing and footwear modifications) and later move to other treatments often involving shockwave therapy or custom orthotic prescription.
Here at FCG we are confident that we will find the correct treatment plan to manage your pain.
If you are suffering heel pain, call us on 9772 9579 to book your consultation.
Written by Sarah McKay – Podiatrist at Foot Centre Group