Common Foot Problems

Heel Pain

Heel Pain (plantar fasciitis/heel spurs)

Heel pain located to the bottom of your heel an be caused by a number of conditions.

One of the most common causes of heel pain is from degeneration or inflammation of the plantar fascia, commonly referred to as plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciopathy or heel spurs.

Plantar fasciitis (or heel spurs) is one of the most common conditions seen by Podiatrists.

What is the plantar fascia?

The plantar fascia is a big long and flat ligament (or band of tissue) that starts from your heel bone, running along the bottom of your foot and arch to connect to the toes. This ligament is an extremely important structure that helps to maintain your arch when standing, walking and running.
When it becomes damaged or inflamed it can be an extremely debilitating condition, which may make you take time away from high impact activities like sport. It can even affect your ability to walk and stand comfortably.

What can damage the plantar fascia?

  • Acute trauma or injury
  • Repetitive overuse or strain over a long period of time
  • Inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis)

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis (or heel spurs)

  • Sharp stabbing pains at the bottom of your heel which may or may not extend into your arch
  • Pain which is more severe first thing in the morning, standing after periods of rest or after periods of increased activity (walking, running or sport)
  • Swelling in the bottom of your heel
  • Severe pain which may affect your ability to walk

Am I at risk of developing plantar fasciitis?

Risk factors for plantar fasciitis (heel spurs) include:

  • Recent weight gain (being overweight or pregnant)
  • Being over 40 years of age
  • Abnormal foot structure: Flat feet or high arched feet
  • Tight muscles, especially your calf muscles or Achilles tendon
  • Being female
  • Are involved in a lot of sporting activities that require running or jumping
  • You participate in a lot of high impact sports or activities that require running or jumping

How Do We Treat Heel Pain?

The good news is there are many treatments that podiatrists can offer to help alleviate symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis. Some of the services Cooper and Lourie offers to their patients includes:

  • Specific stretches that target your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon
  • Custom foot orthotics (insoles) to support your arches and take pressure off the plantar fascia ligament to prevent further degeneration
  • Advice on current and future footwear choices
  • Low level laser therapy
  • Strapping and taping techniques to use when playing sport
  • Rest and avoiding activities which worsen your symptoms
  • Specific Icing and massage techniques for your arch and heel
  • Referral for imaging and cortisone injections (when indicated)

If you have any concerns about your feet or think you are suffering from heel spurs/plantar fasciitis, we are always available to chat and are happy to answer any questions you might have about your feet.

Contact us today on (08) 9242 8566 and begin your journey to pain free walking today!

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