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Heel pain is one of the most common conditions our podiatrists treat and is often a message from the body that something is in need of medical attention.
It is thought that higher arches or flatter arches, or feet that roll in too much, are causes of heel pain. This can place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues attached to it. Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of the long band of tissue
that connects the heel and the ball of the foot) are also common causes of pain in the heel area.
If pain and other symptoms of inflammation – redness, swelling and heat – persist, you should limit normal daily activities and make an appointment with one of our podiatrists, who may refer you for x-rays to look for heel spurs or fractures
What will the treatment for heel pain involve?
Treatment by our podiatrists will vary depending on the pain you are experiencing and must involve treatment of the symptoms, as well as the cause of the pain. Our podiatrists will treat the inflammation as well as any mechanical alignment issues which might be causing excessive strain or any abnormal tractional forces on the plantar fascia.
Treatment might involve exercise and shoe recommendations, and taping or strapping. Taping or strapping supports the foot, placing stressed muscles in a supported position and preventing straining of the plantar fascia. Other physical therapies may also be used, including ice packs and our podiatrists may refer you for an ultrasound or x-ray if further investigation is required.
Only a relatively few cases of heel pain require surgery (generally performed by an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon). If required, surgery may involve the removal of a spur, but also may involve release of the plantar fascia, removal of a bursa or removal of a neuroma or other soft-tissue growth.
Your recovery will depend on the cause of your heel pain and your individual health. If you are suffering from a heel spur or plantar fasciitis, it normally takes about six to eight weeks for a healthy individual to fully recover (when the injured area is fully rested or properly strapped).