Heel pain is a very common condition treated in our podiatric office. Patients come in complaining of pain to the bottom of their heel, sometimes radiating into the arch area and are seeking
effective treatment. Dr. Weinert often speaks with patients who thought their heel pain would just go away on its own. However, with conditions such as heel spur syndrome or plantar fasciitis, this
often is not the case. If Heel Pain
is not treated properly, symptoms will only get worse for the patient and
can result in further pain and disability. This can happen not only in the foot, but in the ankle, knee, hip, lower back and even up in to the shoulder areas as well. The foot is the foundation for
the whole body system and if the foot or the heel hurts, then you can feel pain all over. Foot health starts with knowing the causes of heel pain and symptoms to look out for. Early intervention will
prevent further damage to the feet and Dr. Weinert offers several treatment options to help his patients suffering with heel pain.
If you have pain behind your heel, you may have inflamed the area where the Achilles tendon inserts into the heel bone (retrocalcaneal bursitis). People often get this by running too much or wearing
shoes that rub or cut into the back of the heel. Pain behind the heel may build slowly over time, causing the skin to thicken, become red and swell. You might develop a bump on the back of your heel
that feels tender and warm to the touch. The pain might flare up when you first start an activity after resting. It often hurts too much to wear normal shoes. You may need an X-ray to see if you also
have a bone spur.
Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with an inflammation of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot. The inflammation of this arch area is called
plantar fasciitis. The inflammation maybe aggravated by shoes that lack appropriate support and by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies an athletic lifestyle. Achilles Tendinopathy, Pain
and inflammation of the tendon at the back of the heel that connects the calf muscle to the foot. Sever?s, Often found in children between the ages of 8 - 13 years and is an inflammation of the
calcaneal epiphyseal plate (growth plate) in the back of the heel. Bursitis, An inflamed bursa is a small irritated sack of fluid at the back of the heel. Other types of heel pain include soft tissue
growths, Haglunds deformity (bone enlargement at the back of the heel), bruises or stress fractures and possible nerve entrapment.
In most cases, your GP or a podiatrist (a specialist in foot problems and foot care) should be able to diagnose the cause of your heel pain by asking about your symptoms and medical history,
examining your heel and foot.
Non Surgical Treatment
Anti-inflammatory medication. Heel stretching exercise. Ice application to painful area - twice a day or more, for 10 - 15 minutes. Rest. Supportive, well-fitting, padded shoes. Heel cup, felt pads
or orthotics. Night splints - stretches injured fascia and allows healing. Basic treatment. First thing in the morning, before getting out of bed -- massage the bottom of the affected foot or feet
for at least five minutes. Ensure that the plantar is stretched and warmed up so that overnight healing remains intact. Before stepping out of bed, be sure that you have soft, padded, supportive
shoes or slippers to wear, especially if your flooring is hard, tile or uncarpeted flooring.
It is rare to need an operation for heel pain. It would only be offered if all simpler treatments have failed and, in particular, you are a reasonable weight for your height and the stresses on your
heel cannot be improved by modifying your activities or footwear. The aim of an operation is to release part of the plantar fascia from the heel bone and reduce the tension in it. Many surgeons would
also explore and free the small nerves on the inner side of your heel as these are sometimes trapped by bands of tight tissue. This sort of surgery can be done through a cut about 3cm long on the
inner side of your heel. Recently there has been a lot of interest in doing the operation by keyhole surgery, but this has not yet been proven to be effective and safe. Most people who have an
operation are better afterwards, but it can take months to get the benefit of the operation and the wound can take a while to heal fully. Tingling or numbness on the side of the heel may occur after
Being overweight can place excess pressure and strain on your feet, particularly on your heels. Losing weight, and maintaining a healthy weight by combining regular exercise with a healthy, balanced
diet, can be beneficial for your feet. Wearing appropriate footwear is also important. Ideally, you should wear shoes with a low to moderate heel that supports and cushions your arches and heels.
Avoid wearing shoes with no heels.