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Heel Pain

Heel pain is one of the most common and disabling foot problems.  Research suggests that almost everybody will suffer from heel pain at some stage in their life as its cause is mostly degenerative (due to wear and tear). Things like prolonged standing, footwear, new physical activities or movements and the way you walk can contribute to heel pain.  

The main cause of heel pain is called Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is a chronic local inflammation of the ‘bowstring-like’ ligament that stretches from the ball of your foot to your heel. Over time due to strain of the tendon you can also develop a bony prominence (bone spur) where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone.

Common symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:

·        Sharp pain in the arch or underneath the foot- may feel like a knife sticking into the bottom of the foot

·        The pain is usually worse first thing of a morning or just after rest eg. Driving for an hour and the getting out of the car

·        Pain is worse when barefoot and on hard surfaces such as tiles or concrete

·        After exercise or running you may feel the pain in your heel or arch

·        Heel pain after long periods of standing or a big day at work

·        You may also get some mild swelling around the heel

Our Podiatrists may diagnose that you have plantar fasciitis by checking the area of tenderness and performing a gait assessment. Sometimes they might order and ultrasound as well, to confirm the diagnoses or to rule out any other possible causes, depending on your symptoms. Sometimes heel pain will go away without treatment, but pain can last between 6- 18 months and there’s a high chance of re occurrence.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis involves addressing the cause of the symptoms. Our Podiatrists may strap your foot to help offload the tendon. We may also suggest more supportive shoes. Depending on how you’re walking we may include orthotics (as seen in the photo above) as part of your treatment plan. Orthotics are innersoles that are designed to your feet that you can put into your shoes to help support your feet and legs when you walk. Our Podiatrists may also give you some exercises to do at home to help stretch and strengthen some of your leg and foot muscles.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please call us on 3288 6194 to book an appointment to see on our our friendly Podiatrists at The Foot & Ankle Specialists.

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