Heel pain is an extremely common complaint, and there are several common causes. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms so that appropriate treatment can be
directed at the cause. If you have Heel Pain
, some causes include Plantar Fasciitis, Heel
Spur,Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Stress Fractures, baxter's nerve compression.
In our pursuit of healthy bodies, pain can be an enemy. In some instances, however, it is of biological benefit. Pain that occurs right after an injury or early in an illness may play a protective
role, often warning us about the damage we've suffered. When we sprain an ankle, for example, the pain warns us that the ligament and soft tissues may be frayed and bruised, and that further activity
may cause additional injury. Pain, such as may occur in our heels, also alerts us to seek medical attention. This alert is of utmost importance because of the many afflictions that contribute to heel
The most common complaint is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. Heel pain may be sharp or dull, and it may develop slowly over time or suddenly after intense activity. The pain is
typically worse in the morning, when taking your first steps of the day. After standing or sitting for a while. When climbing stairs.
To arrive at a diagnosis, the foot and ankle surgeon will obtain your medical history and examine your foot. Throughout this process the surgeon rules out all the possible causes for your heel pain
other than plantar fasciitis. In addition, diagnostic imaging studies such as x-rays or other imaging modalities may be used to distinguish the different types of heel pain. Sometimes heel spurs are
found in patients with plantar fasciitis, but these are rarely a source of pain. When they are present, the condition may be diagnosed as plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome.
Non Surgical Treatment
Shoes, orthoses, splinting and/or immobilization form the cornerstone for successful functional management of plantar fasciitis.When you take the overuse nature of plantar fasciitis into account and
attempt to re-establish the windlass mechanism of the foot, there is an enhanced potential for success. Unfortunately, too little attention has been directed to appropriately managing the shoes worn
during treatment for plantar fasciitis. Emphasising motion control and stability type athletic shoes (that provide a firm heel cup, instep rigidity, longitudinal integrity and a well-integrated shoe
upper) can help decrease excess eccentric tissue strain. The shoe also serves as a vital and functional link between an orthotic and the foot. Orthoses have long been considered to be a reliable
method for treating plantar fasciitis. Considerable debate has been waged over the benefits of over-the-counter (OTC), prefabricated and prescription foot and/or ankle orthoses. Heel cushions, heel
cups and cushioning pads appear to provide immediate pain relief for many people who have plantar fasciitis.This relief is frequently short-lived and requires other treatment modalities for
success.Neutral position taping and strapping of the foot provides temporary symptomatic relief of pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Although the functional benefits are temporary and likely do not
last longer than 10 minutes with exercise, the soft tissue compression and symptomatic relief afforded by the strapping can last for nearly a week.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (EST) is a fairly new type of non-invasive treatment. Non-invasive means it does not involve making cuts into your body. EST involves using a device to deliver
high-energy soundwaves into your heel. The soundwaves can sometimes cause pain, so a local anaesthetic may be used to numb your heel. It is claimed that EST works in two ways. It is thought to have a
"numbing" effect on the nerves that transmit pain signals to your brain, help stimulate and speed up the healing process. However, these claims have not yet been definitively proven. The National
Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance about the use of EST for treating plantar fasciitis. NICE states there are no concerns over the safety of EST, but there are
uncertainties about how effective the procedure is for treating heel pain. Some studies have reported that EST is more effective than surgery and other non-surgical treatments, while other studies
found the procedure to be no better than a placebo (sham treatment).
A variety of steps can be taken to avoid heel pain and accompanying afflictions. Wear shoes that fit well-front, back, and sides-and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel
counters. Wear the proper shoes for each activity. Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles. Prepare properly before exercising. Warm up and do stretching exercises before and after
running. Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities. Don?t underestimate your body's need for rest and good nutrition. If obese, lose weight.