Heel Pain / Plantar Fascitis

Heel pain is quite common in active people from children to adults.

There are some several types of Heel pain that effect many people, the most common are:

  • Heel Spurs (Plantar Fasciitis)
  • Heel Bumps
  • Heel Bursitis

Why Heel Pain Occurs
Heel pain develops when your heel constantly hits the ground when walking, exercising, and running. Your heel hits the ground with a considerable amount of force, absorbing the impact as well as supporting the weight of your body.

Once the heel pain develops, it can be very painful making it difficult to walk and causing your posture to change.

Symptoms

Heel Spurs
The pain of heel spurs is often worse when standing, especially in the morning when you stand up out of bed. It is common in people usually over the age of forty. There are no set visible traits of the heel when the pain occurs but a deep painful spot can be found inside or around the middle sole of the heel. Heel spurs can also be linked with Heel Spur Syndrome (spur of bone that is sticking out of the heel bone).

Heel Bumps
Heel bumps are firm bumps that develop on the back of the heel that often cause pain and soreness when rubbed by the insides of your shoe.

Heel Bursitis
When your ankle joint is moving you may feel pain at the back of the heel and develop swelling on both sides of the Achilles tendon (large tendon at the back of the ankle). You may also feel pain deep inside your heel when you walk or run.

How To Treat Heel Pain
Heel pain can be treated by a podiatrist. Initially the podiatrist will assess you at our clinic and find out the cause of your heel pain, by giving a diagnosis to find out whether:

  • It is due to heel spur? (may need X-Ray to confirm it)
  • It is due to a local entrapment of a nerve?
  • It is due to a referral pain from the lower back?
  • It is due to strain of the Achilles tendon?
  • It is due to flat feet (fallen arches)?
  • It is due to a bursa?
  • In children it can be due to growth spurts.

Then on diagnosis, heel pain at our clinic can be treated in the following ways:

  • Orthotics
  • Marigold Therapy
  • Calf Stretches
  • Rolling of a Cold Can
  • Heel Raise
  • Gel Heel Cups
  • Cortisone Injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathic Injections
  • Night Splints
  • Heel Spurs

Heel spurs can be treated by one of our podiatrists. Initially the podiatrist may apply padding and strapping to your heel to alter the direction of the ligament. In the short term this is successful at reducing the tenderness of the heel but the podiatrist can advice on a course of deep heat treatment to help the healing process of the heel spur. In the foreseeable future one of our podiatrists may also advise on orthotics (foot inserts to align your feet and body) to help your feet function successfully by reducing the strain on your ligaments and prevent the heel spur from reoccurring.

If the pain persists, our podiatrist may refer you to your GP who will prescribe oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Also you can opt for the podiatrist to give you a localised hydrocortisone injection or acupuncture and Marigold therapy. However if the pain still persists surgery may be required.

Heel Bumps
Heel bumps can be treated by yourself by making minor adjustments to your footwear by wearing boots or adding a leather heel counter to your shoes. If the pain does persist, it is important to make an appointment with your GP, as surgery may be required.

Heel Bursitis
Heel bursitis can be treated by one of our podiatrists by getting to the source of the pain and applying appropriate padding and strapping to the heel. This will calm the inflammation but if there is an infection to your heel bursitis, one of our podiatrists will have to refer you to your GP.

Podiatrist Consultation
For further assistance regarding your heel pain, please telephone on (02) 164 4958. Alternatively, use the form below.

Find your local podiatrist here

Medical Terms
Plantar Fasciitis