Have you got a sharp pain in your heel that is worst first thing in the morning of after sitting for extended periods? Has it recently started, or maybe been bothering you for quite some time, maybe months or years. Did you find that massage, icing or insoles provided some relief but the pain came back, or you experienced no relief at all? Keep on reading to find out what may be the true cause of your heel pain and for some tips and tricks as how to beat it.
Pain in the heel is often diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis. What is Plantar Fasciitis? It is by definition inflammation of the plantar fascia -a band of connective tissue in the foot that supports the arch. Plantar fasciitis comprises 15% of all adult foot complaints and accounts for 10% of running related injuries.
Despite its high prevalence in the sporting and general community, there is still widespread debate on its cause. Indeed, inflammation of the Plantar Fascia isn't always the cause of heel pain therefore it is important to get an accurate assessment on what is specifically causing the pain. It has now been discovered that heel pain can be attributed to a number of causes including: plantar fascia degeneration, plantar fascia thickening, reduced heel fat pad thickness/ elasticity, neural entrapment, calcaneal microtrauma, physical over-use, fatigue, muscle dysfunction, inflexibility etc...
Why did I get heel pain?
While heel pain can effect any person at any age chances for having the condition increase with: older age, increased BMI, prolonged weight-bearing, standing on hard surfaces, inappropriate footwear, reduced ankle flexibility and recent increases in physical load on the plantar fascia.
What are my treatment options?
Once an accurate lower limb assesment and movement screen has been completed a range of treatment options may be prescribed. Treatment generally comprises a combination of: activity modification, stretching, strengthening, icing, taping, dry needling, gait modification, footwear recommendations and orthotic therapy.
How long will treatment take?
The amount of time to treat heel pain is variable and to a large extent dependent on how long you have had the condition. In general the longer you have had heel pain, the longer it will take to resolve. Unfortunately there can also be high rates of re occurrence without appropriate management and modification of contributing factors. Podiatry conservative treatment will have immediate effect in reducing pain, however it can take up to months for complete resolution of pain. Your podiatrist will be able to assist with self-management interventions as well continued hands-on treatment options.
Author: Tradd Horne- Principal Podiatry Banyo