What causes heel pain?
Podiatrists at The Foot Clinic are experts in diagnosing and treating heel pain. The causes of heel pain range from overloading or overuse of tendons, inflammation and irritation of attachments sites, fractures and bony abnormalities. This can be influenced by foot position, biomechanics and acute or chronic trauma.
Sever’s Disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a common source of heel pain in young, active kids. Often it’s because they are growing very quickly or have a biomechanical imbalance such as a pronated foot position which increases load through the inside edge of the Achilles tendon. To treat this, we begin by identifying that cause of the heel pain, reset the bony position of the foot and strengthen the muscles of the feet and lower limb.
The most common heel pain that the podiatrists treat is plantar fasciitis. There are multiple causes for this condition and there are many treatment options available. However, depending to the nature of the condition, treatment can sometimes be a lengthy process.
Other types of heel pain that podiatrists at The Foot Clinic treat is Bursitis and Haglund’s Deformities. Bursa’s are a fluid-filled sac which usually protects from irritation between tendons, ligaments and bones. When a bursa is inflamed, irritated and causes pain it is called Bursitis. A Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement at the back of the heel. “It can be congenital, develop due to an acute injury or even something as simple as shoes rubbing on the back of the heels,” says Dr Lauren Merritt. “If the bony area starts to build up it can cause pain at the insertion of the Achilles tendon on the heel bone or bursitis.”
Heel pain treatments
The first goal for the Podiatrists at The Foot Clinic is to identify the cause of the heel pain, “We then identify and discuss the best, evidence based treatments available to help treat the pain and prevent it from returning,” Dr Suresh says.
Often heel pain develops due to overuse or overloading of the soft tissue structures around the heel. Some of the common treatments recommended by the podiatrists at The Foot Clinic in Perth include supportive shoes, orthotics, and muscle strengthening exercises. These treatments will help to redistribute pressure from the heel bone and soft tissue.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Inflammation of heel pad
Exercises & home remedies for heel pain
It is important to strengthen the calf muscles to help treat and prevent heel pain, in addition to improving stability in the lower limb, foot and ankle.
“First, we’ll get you started on isometric strengthening exercises. These are exercises where the position of the exercise is held for 10 to 30 seconds,” Dr Suresh says. “Next, we begin eccentric strengthening, which involves applying a controlled load to a muscle as it lengthens. And finally we prescribe concentric strengthening exercises, which work muscles as they contract.” These exercises are sent to you via our online app called Physitrack, “This is an important tool for a self-directed home exercise programme.” Says Dr Suresh.
How can I prevent heel pain?
We all want the magic bullet to prevent heel pain or quickly deal with the symptoms. There is one simple answer: you need to have strong feet. “Strong feet mean your bones are in the right place, your muscles are strong and your balance mechanism is working well,” Suresh says. “If you have strong feet, you won’t have any problems with heel pain.”