Treating Heel Pain in Black Rock
Sandringham Foot Clinic offers quality orthotics & podiatric care to residents of and visitors to Black Rock 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 discomfort can arise from various locations around the heel due to multiple reasons. Mechanical factors, like issues with the tendo Achilles attaching to the heel, are common. Such conditions might result in a bone spur, which appears severe on an x-ray but might not be problematic.
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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Inflammation in the heel bone (osteitis) can cause pain within the heel, and a more profound ache may be a sign of a stress fracture in the calcaneum. Such heel pain can result from ordinary activities, such as gardening or caring for young children. If you don’t properly condition your body when starting or intensifying your walking or running regimen, you may experience pain or even injury in your legs and feet, heels included.
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
Slightly further forward there can be heel pain because of the formation of another heel spur where the recurrent traction of the plantar fascia overtime leads to the overgrowth of the bone (Heel Spur Syndrome). This mechanism of injury can lead to the very well known because it is very common injury of that tight ligament like structure running along the sole of the foot, (Plantar Fasciitis).
The bone spur might look painful, but the actual source of discomfort may not be at the spur’s location. The spur typically forms due to strain on the plantar fascia from mechanical loading, rather than direct irritation from the spur itself.
Frequently, an x-ray shows a significant heel spur on a foot without pain, while a painful foot may not exhibit any spur at all.
Causes of Heel Pain
Sometimes heel pain can arise from a small nerve that supplies the under surface of the heel being irritated by the muscle that crosses it. These and other conditions need to be correctly identified so the best management plan can be brought about for relief.
In some cases, treatment may involve straightforward techniques such as cushioning, targeted exercises, and massages. Applying heat and ice judiciously, coupled with dry needling, can aid in relief. There might also be situations where anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, or using an ankle walker (moon boot) become essential for quick relief.
Orthotic therapy is required to deflect the pressures of weight bearing away from the painful site and to guide the movement of the foot in such a way that reduces the strain along the plantar fascia and the spur. There are a small percentage of cases in which the surgical release of the fascia is required. Studies have also shown that extra corporeal shockwave therapy can help to reduce the pain of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.
Children can develop heel pain as a consequence of being active and causing damage at the back of the heel (Severs Disease). The growth plate of the heel can be disrupted by the recurrent pull of a strong and powerful calf muscle and tendo Achilles. It is important for a accurate diagnosis to be made of these conditions so the most effective treatment can be applied for relief and recovery.
Our podiatrists are highly skilled in diagnosis and the management of heel pain.