Heel pain is one of the most common conditions treated our podiatrists at Eastwood podiatry clinic. Pain is often a sign from the body that something is in the need of medical attention. While heel pain has many causes, it is usually the result of faulty biomechanics of the feet (abnormalities in the way we walk). This can place too much load on the heel bone and soft tissue attached to it. The stress may also result from injury, being overweight, overuse, improper footwear or systemic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. The stress may also result from injury while walking, running or jumping on hard surfaces.
Heel and arch pain is predominantly seen in middle aged men and women, yet all ages are at risk. It is also common among people who take part in regular sporting activities or are constantly on their feet. The most likely condition in this case would be Plantar Fasciitis. This refers to inflammation of the ligament-like structure that runs under the foot from the heel, along the arch to the toes. Pain associated with this condition is most commonly reported as worse in the morning when the first few steps are taken or after standing after a long period of sitting. People who stand for long periods of time are also at risk of suffering from this condition. Heel Spurs can also form over time as a result of having Plantar Fasciitis for an extended period of time.
Heel pain can also affect children between the ages of 8 to 13, as they become involved in sporting activities. This condition is called Sever’s Disease and can be quite debilitating for very active children. Pain is normally reported during running and jumping and will only subside when the activity stops. The primary cause of the pain is tension of the Achille’s tendon pulling on the active growth plate of the heel bone. While the child will eventually grow out of the condition, management and treatment is required to allow the child to return to normal activity and to be pain-free. This is a condition rarely seen among inactive children. The condition most likely to affect adults that has a similar presentation (yet related to tight and inflammed muscles and not an inflammed growth plate) is known as Achilles Tendonitis.
Certain spinal and hip problems can also cause heel discomfort. This is often referred to as Neurogenic Heel Pain and should be discussed with our podiatrists to rule out causative and exacerbating factors that worsen the pain.
If you suffer from pain, inflammation, tenderness or immobility related to your heel or arch pain, consult our podiatrists, as early treatment and prevention is the key to maintaining healthy feet.
Treating the Ryde and Hills area, we’ll get you back on your feet in no time!