Heel Pain Treatment Perth
Do you suffer from painful heels? You must read what our podiatrists have to say…
Heel pain is a very common symptom that has many potentialcauses. Although heel pain can be referred from the back or calf, it is usually a local pathology that originates in the foot.
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common reason for rear foot pain and is caused by aggravation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a broad, thick band of tissue that runs from the heel and attaches under the toes. This band is needed to maintain the medial arch of the foot and to provide shock absorption during walking. Plantar fasciitis was traditionally thought to be an inflammatory condition. This is now believed to be incorrect due to the absence of inflammatory cells. In reality it is caused by degeneration of the collagen fibres within the plant fascia.
Heel pain is one of the most common foot complaints, with plantar fasciitis presenting as one of the most common causes. 1 in 10 people will develop heel pain at some stage in their life. The greatest incidence is seen in middle-aged men and women. 15% of all podiatric adult consultations and orthosis prescriptions are related to this.
Causes and contributing factors:
Over 30 different causes have been reported. The causes may be categorized as follows:
- Mechanical: primarily plantar fasciitis which results from too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues attached to it. This is often associated with flat feet or high arches.
- Neurological: primarily local nerve entrapment
- Rheumatological i.e. ankylosing spondylitis or gout
- Metabolic i.e. diabetes
Heel pain can present in a number of ways depending on the underlying cause. Symptoms that are often reported include a sharp, stabbing or throbbing pain in the central or inner heel. The pain is typically worse with the first steps in the morning and then eases as the foot warms up with activity.
Specific treatment is related to the underlying cause of the pain:
- If mechanical: ‘RICER’, shoes, strapping, padding, orthoses, cortisone injection, ultrasound therapy, muscle release, stretching and strengthening
- If neurological: reduce impingement
- If systemic disease: treat the disease
- Surgery, in rare cases is also indicated