By James Teo & Kaushal Bhuta
Heel Pain is one of the most common conditions treated by Podiatrists. There are many causes of heel pain, however, it is usually the result of faulty mechanics in the way we walk. This can place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissue attached to it. At times, heel pain can also be the result of an injury, or systemic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes.
By far, the most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This is caused by inflammation of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot. Excessive rolling of the foot has been long been established as the major cause of this inflammation, as this is the primary cause of excessive strain on the arch ligament. Symptoms usually include sharp pain in the heel first thing in the morning and following periods of rest, and aching pain in the heel on increased activity.
As there are many causes of heel pain, it is important to have the condition correctly diagnosed so that appropriate treatment can be implemented. Treatment for plantar fasciitis however usually involves massage and stretching exercises for the heel and calf muscles, icing of the heel to reduce inflammation, and strapping of the foot with shoe inserts (orthotics). Orthotics work to correct any inherent mechanical abnormalities in the feet, therefore treating the source of the problem and not just a “band aid” solution. They can also be made to fit most shoes (including court/dress shoes!).
Your Chiropractor, with the help of a Podiatrist should be able to successfully treat most causes of heel pain.