I have a pain in my heel, what could be causing it?


Pain in the heels is a common complaint. It affects many people and in some the pain persists and becomes a daily part of their lives. It is a nuisance and can become chronic but there are lots of things your Supplefeet podiatrist can do to help.

Generally it is best to seek advice as soon as the heel pain commences as this gives your podiatrist the best chance of resolving it completely. Studies show that good conservative treatment is effective in 85% of patients.

Most commonly pain in the heel has a gradual onset without any history of trauma to the area. The pain is progressive over a few months and typically pain is felt under the inner aspect of the heel border. Usually it starts in one heel only and is worse upon weight-bearing first thing in the morning. It generally eases with activity but becomes pronounced at the end of the day or after a long day on your feet. 

Top Tip - Wearing Yoga Sandals  round the house instead of slippers can be a great way to treat this. By stretching out the plantar fascia it helps alleviate the plantar fasciitus. They are a mainstay in our clinical management programme.   

It is caused by an overpull of the tendon that attaches into the calcaneum (heel bone), this is called the plantar fascia and therefore inflammation of the tendon is called plantar fasciitis. It can also be accompanied by cramping of the calf muscles as tightness of the Achilles tendon is a major contributory factor.

The underlying position of your foot is often to blame for this condition and therefore advice on shoes and insoles is important. A foot type that flattens excessively on standing is called a pronating foot type and this needs to be addressed by using orthotics.

Interpods are especially useful for plantar fasciitus as they cup the heel, support the arch and have plantar fascial groove. This helps to facilitate the movement of the plantar fascia tendon. Available in full or 3/4 length.

Make an appointment to come and see us at Supplefeet, call 020 8367 9292 now.

On your first visit the podiatrist will assess the history of the complaint and sometimes request X-rays. We will instigate our specialised heel pain treatment regime and only use steroid injections in severe cases.

You will then be reviewed after 2 weeks and we hope to see a significant improvement in your symptoms. If there has been no significant improvement we will then consider injection therapies and custom made orthotics.(shoe inserts)

In more stubborn cases other forms of treatment can be used to supplement the above, these include; steroid injections, night splints, below knee walking casts and surgical release of the plantar fascia band may be needed.

Embarrassing foot problems? Ask our resident expert and owner of our Enfield foot and ankle clinic, Emma Supple. 

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