Heel Pain Treatment in Brighton
Sandringham Foot Clinic offers quality orthotics & podiatric care to residents of and visitors to Brighton 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.
The existence of a bone spur may enhance the risk of irritation from a shoe’s firm heel counter. Such friction can occasionally cause a blister at the back of the heel. When the rubbing from the shoe’s heel is gentler, it might create a bursa under the skin, which can turn into bursitis if the friction continues. Bursitis sometimes develops as part of inflammatory joint disorders 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.
Pain at the bottom of the heel might result from insufficient natural fatty padding beneath the feet’s weight-bearing areas. This lack of padding can cause bruising in the area called the plantar medial calcaneal tubercle, particularly if you wear hard-soled shoes.
Heel Spur and Plantar Fasciitis
Further towards the front of the heel, pain can be caused by another type of heel spur, which develops from repeated stress on the plantar fascia leading to bone growth (Heel Spur Syndrome). This repetitive stress is a common cause of Plantar Fasciitis, the injury to the taut band running beneath 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
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.
The purpose of orthotic therapy is to shift weight-bearing pressures from the painful area and guide foot movement to decrease strain on the plantar fascia and spur. Surgical intervention for releasing the fascia is needed in a minority of cases. Additionally, extra corporeal shockwave therapy has shown effectiveness in reducing heel spur and plantar fasciitis pain.
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.