We know that heel pain can be extremely debilitating affecting your ability to walk and do normal daily activities. Hobbling out of bed in the morning or having to limp home after exercise is no fun. Our treatments are aimed at getting you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Prolonged heel pain can cause you to change the way you walk leading to knee and hip pain. Our podiatrists are experts at treating heel pain as it is one of the most common foot complaints that present in clinic (and one of them suffers with it too!). It can be caused by many different problems but for effective treatment the cause of the pain needs to be established.
When the heel is exposed to excessive stresses it can result in pain. These stresses can be caused by a simple change in footwear, increase in body weight including pregnancy, increase in physical activity such as running, prolonged standing and changes in the type of surface we walk on, for example carpet to hard flooring.
The most common cause of heel pain is called plantar fasciitis and is a result of damage to the band of tissue that runs from the heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of the toes. The classic symptom that people experience is pain in the heel occurring after rest or first thing in the morning which then subsides after a few minutes of walking. There are many other causes of heel pain such as back and nerve problems but to confirm this you should consult with a podiatrist.
The podiatrist will look at factors such as footwear, activity, weight, and do a biomechanical examination and gait assessment. Treatment will usually involve a combination of stretching exercises, ultrasound, icing, footwear advice and sometimes orthotics (custom made shoe inserts) and medication.
Severe cases may need referral for shock wave therapy, platelet rich plasma injections or cortisone injection by a doctor.