Treating Heel Pain in Moorabbin
Sandringham Foot Clinic offers quality orthotics & podiatric care to residents of and visitors to Moorabbin 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.
Pain in the heel can manifest in several areas and be caused by different factors. Mechanical causes, particularly related to the tendo Achilles’ connection to the heel, are common. These issues may lead to a bone spur, which, while seemingly painful on an x-ray, may not actually cause any discomfort.
A bone spur’s presence increases the chances of it being irritated by the shoe’s hard heel backing. This friction at the heel’s rear might cause a blister. If the shoe’s heel counter causes milder friction, it could lead to a soft, under-skin swelling (bursa), which might inflame into bursitis if the rubbing doesn’t stop. Sometimes, bursitis can be a consequence of inflammatory joint diseases, such as psoriatic arthritis.
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Pain within the body of the heel can be due to inflammation of the bone (osteitis); a deeper ache can indicate a stress fracture of the heel bone (calcaneum) itself. This sort of heel pain can even arise through the normal activities of daily living including the crouching down when gardening or when wrangling of small children. Not conditioning your body correctly when you begin or increase the amount or the speed of the walking or the running that you do can lead to an ache if not injury of your legs and feet, including your heels.
If you experience heel pain on the underside of your foot, it may be because there’s not enough natural fatty cushioning under the weight-bearing parts of your feet. This condition can cause bruising in the plantar medial calcaneal tubercle, especially when you’re in hard-soled footwear.
Heel Spur and Plantar Fasciitis
Just ahead in the foot, heel pain might occur due to another heel spur caused by ongoing strain on the plantar fascia, leading to excessive bone formation (Heel Spur Syndrome). This type of strain commonly results in Plantar Fasciitis, an injury to the ligament-like structure along the foot’s sole.
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.
An x-ray might often display a pronounced heel spur in a foot that feels fine, while the foot experiencing pain doesn’t have a visible spur.
Causes of Heel Pain
At times, pain in the heel could be due to a small nerve on the heel’s underside getting irritated by the muscle above it. It’s important to accurately diagnose these conditions to create the best plan for effective 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.
To alleviate pain, orthotic therapy works by moving the weight-bearing pressures away from the painful areas and altering foot movement to reduce plantar fascia and spur stress. Surgery to release the fascia is sometimes necessary. Extra corporeal shockwave therapy has also been shown to be effective in lessening the pain from heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.
Active children may experience heel pain due to damage at the heel’s rear (known as Severs Disease), often caused by the repeated strain from a robust calf muscle and tendo Achilles. Accurate diagnosis is crucial to ensure that the best treatment is provided for both relief and recovery.
Our podiatrists are highly skilled in diagnosis and the management of heel pain.