There are many reasons why we suffer heel pain, the most common ones are:

PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Plantar Fasciitis is an over use injury caused by repeated injury to the band of tissue that joins the mid-foot to the heel. This band of tissue  helps to support the arch and provides shock absorption.

Pain usually occurs on the underside of the heel and usually feels at its worst when getting up from periods of inactivity, either out of bed in the morning or getting up out of the chair of an evening. The pain will subside as activity increases during the day.

Factors that contribute to its cause include: over-pronation, sudden weight gain, injury, age, occupation, tight calf muscles and achilles tendons.

Treatment usually begins with PRICE (protection, rice, ice, compression and elevation) other options include: stretches, strapping, cortisone injections, insoles, anti-inflammatories, night splints and acupuncture.

ACHILLES TENDONITIS

Achilles Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon.  Most common causes are often found to be over use of the tendon in a specific activity, or due to the intensity of a high impact sport.  Even change of sport footwear can cause the tendon to stretch causing pain.

The initial treatment regime may consist of rest and ice packs with anti-inflammatories, however if the pain is quite severe and the patients gait is being affected, we may look to advise an orthotic, possibly with heel raises to re-balance the body and correctly distribute weight bearing again.

Often Acupuncture and mobilisation may help in conjunction with this to reduce inflammation and warm/stretch the muscles gently.

HEEL SPURS

Often associated with plantar fasciitis  where a deposit calcified bone occurs on the underside of the heel bone which can cause pain. Exercises, anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections and special heel spur orthotics can be prescribed.

OVER-PRONATION

A  high percentage of the population suffer with some form of pain in the foot, heel, leg, knee & back areas of the body.  ‘Excess Pronation’ can result in many conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis & Patello-Femoral Syndrome.   These conditions can be helped by regular treatment by a Podiatrist, and in some cases by the use of Orthotics.