Rhys’s top tips to manage heel pain
Here at Foot Centre Group, one of the most common presenting issues for our patients, is heel pain. Heel pain can stem from a wide variety of causes, and is commonly associated with Achilles tendonitis, Plantar fasciitis, Sever’s (in children) and bursitis. The most common cause of heel pain in the adult population is Plantar fasciitis, which is the thickening and inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a connective structure located in the heel and extends towards the base of your toes. Whilst Diagnostic Imaging such as Ultrasound can be used to diagnose Plantar Fasciitis, here at Foot Centre Group we can clinically diagnose Plantar Fasciitis through history taking and biomechanical assessments.
Another prevalent cause of heel pain that is frequently treated as a Podiatrist is Achilles Tendonitis. Achilles Tendonitis is frequently seen in bounding sports players such as Football, Netball and Basketball, but also commonly seen in Women who wear high heels.
The most common cause of heel pain we see in children and adolescents is Severs. Severs is generally diagnosed in children between the ages of 8 and 16, and is caused by excess stress on the growth plate located in the heel. Through thorough history taking and biomechanical assessment Sever’s can be diagnosed and managed without the aid of Diagnostic Imaging and invasive treatment.
So you might be thinking to yourself, I think I know what my heel pain is, but what is causing it?
It’s no surprise the human heel can get sore from time to time, after all we do average close to 10,000 steps each day. However if repeated stress is coupled with biomechanical imbalances, then we can start to experience painful unwanted symptoms. Some of the commonly seen biomechanical imbalances include pronated (flat) feet and restricted ankle dorsiflexion (tight calves/achilles). These imbalances can cause the foot to strike the ground in an abnormal way. Around 10,000 times a day. In addition to this, if were doing any running or jumping then forces up to 4 times our body weight go through our heel.
So what can you do?
These are my best tips for managing your heel pain.
- See your Podiatrist as soon as possible.
- Studies show that heel pain that is diagnosed early responds to treatment much faster – meaning quicker recovery and pain free sooner.
- Address any biomechanical imbalances.
- Through the use of Footwear and Orthotic management, your podiatrist will be able to redistribute and offload any unwanted stress causing your heel pain.
- Stretching, Stretching and more Stretching
- Releasing the tension of stressed muscles and tendons can help to offload those structures under stress. Stretching is an integral part of managing heel pain as we know that tightness in the calves and achilles can lead to a restriction in movement in the plantar fascia. Stretching is a simple activity that can be completed at home or at the office.
If you or someone you know is suffering from heel pain , please call us at Foot Centre Group on 9553 0044 to book online here.
Foot Podiatry that keeps you grounded!
Written by Rhys Pierce – Podiatrist at Foot Centre Group