What causes heel pain?
Heel pain is most commonly one of two conditions either Plantar Fasciitis (bottom of the heal) or Achilles tendinopathy (back of the heal)
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries that we see at the Theale Wellbeing Centre. It is the most frequent cause of chronic heel pain usually where the fascia under the foot inserts into the heel bone. It is thought to have a mechanical origin and can be associated with increased body weight and lower limb biomechanical anomalies. Inflammation is only rarely observed and so anti-inflammatory agents (e.g. Ibuprofen) are unlikely to be of much help. The priority should be to speak to one of our podiatrists as soon as possible as an early intervention usually leads to a better outcome. When managing Plantar Fasciitis, the following should be considered: –
- Taping may help in the early stage. If this proves beneficial in terms of pain relief and improved function, shoe inserts (orthotics) should be considered as part of a longer term solution.
- Calf and plantar fascia stretching should be undertaken regularly.
- Footwear should be assessed to ensure that it is appropriate for you.
- If the pain in the heel has been present for a prolonged period e.g. 6 months. Shockwave therapy should be considered.
- The pain associated with Plantar fasciitis usually encourages sufferers to become more sedentary.
- As increased body weight predisposes someone to have plantar fasciitis it is important to have a plan that helps to maintain a healthy body weight.