The heel is the bottom rear part of the foot. It consists of a padded cushion of tissue that covers the heel bone. The tissue holds its shape despite the pressure it is put under from absorbing the entire weight of the body. The heel includes parts of the foot including the muscles, ligaments, plantar fascia and calcaneus.
Heel pain is described as discomfort underneath the rear of the foot. Heel pain is not a common symptom of a serious condition, however, it can get in the way of regular activity, like walking, running or exercise.
Heel pain is caused by a variety of factors. Some common causes of heel pain include wearing the wrong shoes, an abnormal or incorrect walking style, an injury or even symptoms of a deeper underlying condition or disease.
The plantar fascia is a strong thick tissue that runs on the underside of the foot. It creates the arch of the inner part of the foot by connecting the heel bone to the toes. When this part of the foot gets overstretched or bruised, plantar fasciitis can occur. Symptoms of plantar fascia include inflammation and heel pain. Pain is often increased after a period of rest and then taking the first few steps.
If you feel pain behind the heel when you stand on your toes, it’s possible that you have Achilles tendonitis, which is a common cause of heel pain. People get Achilles tendonitis – which is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon which runs from the heel to the calf – which is often caused by overuse or tightness in the calf or even injury.
If you feel inflammation at the back of your heel, it may be Heel Bursitis. It’s a painful condition that affects the bursa, which is the sac of fluid situated between the Achilles tendons and the heel bone.
This condition is caused by an inflammation of the growth plate which is positioned at the back section of the heel. Commonly it is seen in growing kids in the age group of 10-14 years of age. Very active children that are often involved is sports including our basketballers and cross-country runners to name a few.
What treatments are available for heel pain? There may be various forms of treatment for heel pain, depending on the nature of the pain. This includes specialised treatment plans from a podiatrist, stretching, strengthening your calf muscles and even rest.
Specialised treatments recommended by a podiatrist may include orthotics or specialised footwear, supports like strapping or splints, shockwave therapy or medication to manage the pain and inflammation. In extreme cases, treatment may even lead to surgery.
To get an accurate diagnosis of your heel discomfort, it’s best to seek consultation from a professional. The fully operational foot clinic at Feet First podiatry is equipped with the team, knowledge, and technology to make your heel pain a thing of the past.
To book an appointment to get your feet feeling good, click on the link below now.