The heel is padded support of fatty tissue surrounding the heel bone that holds its shape even with the pressure of body weight and movement. It helps to protect the structures of the foot, including the calcaneus, ligaments and muscles.
What Causes Heel Pain?
Heel pain is a very common foot condition, some of the many reasons for heel pain can include:
- Certain disorders, including arthritis and diabetes
- Injury to the heel, such as fractures or bruising
- Incorrect footwear
- Irregular walking style, such as overpronation or flat feet
- Standing, jumping or running on hard surfaces
Complications of Heel Pain:
Common complications of heel pain can include:
- Achilles tendonosis
- Calcaneal cyst
- Heel spur
- Plantar fasciitis
- Sever’s Disease (children)
- Stress fracture
Two of the most common complications of heel pain are:
The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that runs along the heel to the ball of the foot. One of its key roles is to keep the bones and joints in position. Injury, bruising or overextending this muscle can cause inflammation and heel pain. A common cause is flat feet, because the ligament is overstretched when the foot spreads out and the arch flattens. The pain may increase first thing in the morning or after rest.
An irregular walking style, such as rolling the feet outwards, places extra strain on the plantar fascia. Prolonged inflammation can develop and lead to a growth or spur on the bone. The spur can only be seen on x-ray, but can also be noticed by a tender patch on the heel on the sole of the foot.
- Wear correct footwear.
- Choose footwear with shock-absorbent soles and supportive heels.
- Remember to warm up and cool down before and after exercising or playing sport.
- Tape or strap your feet to help support the muscles and ligaments.
- Shoe inserts, such as orthotics which can be professionally fitted by your podiatrist may help support your feet in the long term.
- Customised orthotics
- Individualised exercise programs
- Night splints
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
- Ultrasound therapy
- In some serious cases, surgery may be recommended
At Mint Foot Care, we are experienced at treating all heel pain conditions. We will assess, diagnose the condition and provide a tailored treatment plan. Please call 1300 975 980 to book an appointment.