Heel pain and plantar fasciitis

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which accounts for 10-15% of all podiatry referrals, and can affect any age group from teens upwards.

Heel pain - bare feet in the rain

 

This is due to overuse and inflammation of the tendon of this muscle band that runs under the sole of the foot. Classically, the heel pain is worst first thing in the morning, or after a period of activity, and is felt as a deep pain under the inside (medial) of the heel.

What are the common causes of plantar fasciitis?

  • A┬áparticular foot-type
  • Very tight calf muscles
  • Flat or excessively pronated feet
  • Those who stand for long periods
  • Those who have recently increased their activity

Plantar fasciitis treatment involves dealing with the mechanical nature of the problem, while reducing the swelling and inflammation.

While acute cases respond well to vigorous stretching regimes, anti-inflammatory modalities, and heel cushioning, more long-term sufferers may also need footwear advice and insoles/orthotics to manage their symptoms.

Other causes of heel pain that a podiatrist can treat

  • Sever’s heel/apophysitis
  • Plantar fibrosis/fibromatosis
  • Lederhose’s disease
  • Impact injuries to the calcaneum
  • Calcaneal spur