If you are suffering from heel pain then you probably have a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The term plantar fasciitis describes an injury in which the ligament which runs from your heel to the ball of your foot becomes damaged, inflamed and painful. This condition is commonly caused by abnormal stress along your plantar fascia at its attachment to the heel bone. Abnormal stress is often caused by your foot excessively rolling in at the ankle, a condition known as pronation. Stress can also result from a bruise or injury incurred whilst exercising, wearing poor quality shoes or being overweight, all of which can overload your plantar fascia.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis leads to tenderness on the inside of your heel. This tenderness is usually severe in the morning when you first get out of bed and place your heel on the ground. You will be struck by a sharp pain in your heel or arch. You may also experience pain when you get up after periods of rest.
Who gets plantar fasciitis?
Middle aged women often suffer from plantar fasciitis due to hormonal and weight changes. Plantar fasciitis is also common in those who take part in regular sporting activities such as golf, soccer and football. Those who are significantly overweight are at risk as are those who are on their feet all day. Heel pain in children can often occur between the ages of 8 and 13 as they become increasingly active in sporting activities. Heel pain in active children is often a growth related condition known as Sever’s Disease.
How do you treat plantar fasciitis?
Melbourne podiatrist will assess your feet and identify the cause of your heel pain before recommending a course of plantar fasciitis treatment. An ultrasound or x-ray may be requested to quantify diagnosis. As plantar fasciitis is predominantly caused by over pronation of the foot, a treatment plan to control this motion will be implemented. This may include orthotics, exercises and shockwave therapy. This may include stretching, massage and orthotic therapy. In the short term, radial shockwave therapy may also be recommended to provide immediate relief from your pain. If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can become a chronic and debilitating ailment that may eventually require cortisone injections or surgery. It may also cause your heel bone to develop a bony growth known as a heel spur, which develops as your body attempts to repair the damage to your plantar fascia.
Other causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain can also be related to an inflamed bursa which is a small, irritated sack of fluid at the back of your heel, a neuroma or nerve growth, soft-tissue growths and heel bumps or ‘pump bumps’ which are bony enlargements at the back of the heel bone. The body of the calcaneum (heel bone) can become sore if the bone itself becomes inflamed (osteitis) from doing too much walking if you are out of condition and not fit. Some severe arthritis conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, will cause pain at the back of your heel.
We understand that heel pain can cause you a great deal of distress, especially because your foot doesn’t ‘look’ like it is injured. However, our podiatrists are trained to diagnose this condition and to implement a regime of care to help you recover from your heel pain and get you back on your feet.