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Heel pain can occur in either the front, back or bottom of the heel. It can vary in severity from mild to disabling pain. Heel pain is often the result of problems with your biomechanics (your walking gait) which place stress on your heel bone and the soft tissues attached to it. The stress may also be the result of an injury, or a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing poorly fitting footwear; or carrying excess weight. There are many causes of heel pain; therefore good treatment will depend on first identifying the exact cause.
The most common type of heel pain is tissue inflammation of the skin under the heel and arch of your foot. This area of skin is called the plantar fascia and therefore inflammation is known as plantar fasciitis. Many people with plantar fasciitis report more pain after periods of sitting, or on getting up in the morning. This pain may reduce after a short period of walking, as this action stretches the plantar fascia. However, with extended periods of standing or walking it can become painful again.
If you are experiencing unexplained or prolonged heel pain, your podiatrist or orthopedic foot specialist should be able to help you.
As with most medical conditions, seeking early treatment is the best course of action. If however you have experienced symptoms for an extended period of time, there are still treatment options available to you.
Your consultant podiatric, or orthopedic foot and ankle, surgeon will firstly examine the area and may perform an X-ray to rule out problems of the bone.
Early treatment might involve oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication, ice, exercise and shoe recommendations, taping or strapping, or use of shoe inserts or orthotic devices. Taping or strapping supports the foot, placing stressed muscles and tendons in a restful position.
A functional orthotic device may be prescribed for correcting biomechanical imbalance, controlling excessive pronation (inward roll of the foot), and supporting of the ligaments and tendons attaching to the heel bone. It will effectively treat the majority of heel and arch pain without the need for surgery.
Only in a relatively small number of cases are more advanced treatments or surgery needed.
Simply call us on 01245 253760 to book your initial consultation. If you are using private medical insurance to cover your treatment costs you will usually require a referral letter from your GP. Therefore, please check with your insurance provider what their requirements are before booking.