Treating Heel Pain in Beaumaris
Sandringham Foot Clinic offers quality orthotics & podiatric care to residents of and visitors to Beaumaris and beyond.
Heel pain is painful. Heel pain is complex. Heel pain can be debilitating.
The condition that causes more people to cry in the knowledge that they will get better is heel pain.
Heel pain can occur at a number of different sites about the heel and for different reasons. There can be mechanical causes such as those associated with the attachment of the tendo Achilles at the back to the heel. This can lead to the formation of a bone spur which looks very painful on x-ray but may not cause trouble.
Having a bone spur can heighten the likelihood of irritation caused by the stiff heel support of a shoe. This irritation can sometimes result in a blister at the heel’s back. Less intense rubbing from the shoe’s heel counter may cause a soft bump under the skin (bursa), potentially leading to inflammation (bursitis) if it persists. In certain cases, such bursitis is a result of an inflammatory condition like psoriatic arthritis.
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Pain in the heel’s body might be due to bone inflammation (osteitis), and a deeper soreness could indicate a stress fracture in the calcaneum. This heel pain can occur from routine activities, like crouching in gardening or managing young children. Not properly conditioning your body for new or increased walking or running can lead to pain or injuries in your legs and feet, including the heels.
Heel pain at the bottom of the foot can be due to having an inadequate amount of the natural fatty padding that underlies the weight bearing surfaces of the feet. This can lead to bruising of what is known as the plantar medial calcaneal tubercle, especially when wearing hard soled shoes.
Heel Spur and Plantar Fasciitis
A bit more towards the front of the foot, heel pain may arise from a second heel spur, formed due to continuous pulling of the plantar fascia, resulting in bone overgrowth (known as Heel Spur Syndrome). Such strain often causes Plantar Fasciitis, a familiar and frequent injury to the ligament-like tissue under the foot.
Even though bone spurs seem painful, the pain doesn’t always come from the spur’s site. More often, the spur develops due to mechanical stress on the plantar fascia, rather than the spur itself pressing into the foot.
It is not uncommon for an x-ray to reveal a large heel spur on a pain free foot whilst the foot that is sore has no spur.
Causes of Heel Pain
Occasionally, heel pain is caused by irritation of a small nerve beneath the heel due to muscle crossing over it. Identifying these and related conditions correctly is crucial for devising the most appropriate management strategy for relief.
Treatment can sometimes include basic methods like cushioning, physical exercises, and massage. Utilising heat and ice thoughtfully, along with dry needling, can be beneficial. Occasionally, the use of anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroid injections, or an ankle walker (moon boot) might be necessary for prompt relief.
Orthotic therapy aims to redistribute weight-bearing pressures away from the site of pain and to direct the foot’s movement to lessen the tension on the plantar fascia and the associated spur. In a few instances, surgery to release the fascia may be necessary. Furthermore, extra corporeal shockwave therapy has been proven to alleviate the discomfort associated with heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.
In children, heel pain can arise from active play leading to damage at the back of the heel (Severs Disease). This can stem from ongoing tension exerted by the calf muscle and tendo Achilles on the heel’s growth plate. It’s vital to accurately diagnose these conditions to administer the most effective treatment for their relief and healing.
Our podiatrists are highly skilled in diagnosis and the management of heel pain.