Heel pain is frustrating - there’s no doubt about it. It restricts not only your ability to move, but also to do the things you love - or even carry out simple household chores! When it comes to managing heel pain, it’s not as simple as putting your shoulder in a sling and using the opposite arm - you’ve got to use both feet every time you walk, and you have to walk all through the day! These are the exact reasons why heel pain takes time to treat, why the pain can get worse, and why it can come back if you don’t treat it effectively.
So, what causes heel pain?
This is a tricky one - because it’s a little like asking what causes a tummy ache - it can be so many things! More often than not, when we see heel pain it’s due to either:
- An overuse injury (you pushed hard, had a long day on your feet, ran a lot further than you’re used to, and have irritated or strained a tissue or muscle. These can come on quickly, or may build up gradually over time - like a stress fracture. It may also be associated with your foot type)
- An accident or trauma (you jumped down from high ground, you got accidentally hit on your foot, and so on)
The first step of any appointment is always to identify what the cause of your injury is - so that we know not only how to best treat it, but also how to reduce the risk of it happening again in the future. We do this by performing a comprehensive biomechanical assessment, which involves:
- Analysing your gait
- Palpating around the affected areas
- Checking the range of motion available in the affected areas
- Checking your pain scale
- Getting a full detailed medical history
- Discussing the likely causes
- Assessing your footwear
Discussing your pain, history and the symptoms you are experiencing is a large part of making an accurate diagnosis - especially as for many, they may get referred pain to their heel from another injured area, like their ankle.
How is heel pain treated?
There are plenty of treatment options available, which will be decided by the cause of your pain, your diagnosis and your lifestyle. Your treatment may involve:
- Stretching programmes
- Footwear assessments
- Dry needling
- Manual therapy techniques
When should I see a Podiatrist?
If you’re experiencing pain first thing in the morning, swelling around your heel, redness, cramping, pain after walking, or that you’re changing the way you’re walking - we recommend coming in for an assessment.
We’ll explain the what’s, how’s and why’s of what you’re experiencing - and how to treat it! To book an appointment, give us a call on (07) 4162 7633 - we’d love to help!