Heel pain is one of the most common conditions podiatrists treat. The pain originates underneath the foot. Heel pain usually presents as sharp pain and discomfort in mid-arch region around the inside (medial) heel and less common on the outside of the heel. Often pain is presented with the first few steps in the morning, after sitting down, or at the end of the day.
Heel pain commonly occurs in middle aged men and women, who overuse their feet and do regular sporting activities. It can also occur for children from ages between 8 to 13 who are highly involved in sport activities.
Cause of heel pain
The causes of heel pain can vary from, high arches or feet that roll in too much. This condition can place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissue attached to it. Heel pain can also result from long hour standing, walking, running, or jumping on hard surface, as well as wearing poor conditioned shoes.
One of the most common cause of heel pain is Plantar fasciitis, which can be associated with heel spur, heel bursitis, and sometimes Achilles heel pain more commonly known as Achilles tendonitis. Heel pain in children is call Sever’s Disease (calcaneal apophysitis). To define and accurate diagnose heel pain, you are required to see a podiatrist for biomechanical assessment and for more serious conditions may require X-ray or Ultrasound.
Treatment for heel pain
Treatment of heel pain can combine with activity modification, exercise, shoes recommendations, strapping/taping and topical or oral anti-inflammatory medication. Strapping/taping supports the foot in order to reduce muscular overuse, and prevent straining/stress of the plantar fascia.
Based on the patient’s biomechanical assessment, a podiatrist is able to provide services, such as foot mobilisation, dry needling, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy and orthotic therapy (over-the-counter or customised) at Foot-solutions. Podiatrists may also refer their clients for steroid injections under ultrasound guidance depending on the diagnosis.
Written by Podiatrist: Seung Jo Ha
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