Treating Heel Pain in Flemington
Brunswick Foot Clinic offers quality orthotics & podiatric care to residents of and visitors to Flemington 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 presence of such a bone spur can will increase the risk of its irritation from the hard heel counter of a shoe. Sometimes this rubbing at the back of the heel can lead to a blister. If the rubbing from the heel counter of the shoe is a little less, a soft swelling can form under the skin (bursa) which can then become inflamed if the rubbing continues for too long (bursitis). Sometimes this bursitis occurs because of an inflammatory joint condition such as 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.
Although a bone spur appears painful, the actual pain may not originate at the spur’s location. Generally, the spur’s formation is attributed to the mechanical strain on the plantar fascia, not necessarily from the spur itself causing discomfort in 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
Heel discomfort may sometimes result from irritation of a minor nerve under the heel by an overlying muscle. Proper diagnosis of this and similar conditions is essential to establish an effective treatment plan.
The treatment regimen may at times include basic cushioning, specific exercises, and massage therapy. Effective use of both heat and ice treatments, as well as dry needling, has proven helpful. In certain scenarios, resorting to anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, or using an ankle walker (moon boot) may be necessary for early 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.