06 Aug 2019

One of the most common conditions we see at Sure Step Podiatry in Coffs Harbour is heel pain. Heel pain is foot problem that can affect people of any age group including children. Heel pain can be plantar, medial, lateral or posterior. Heel pain symptoms may be associated with sport and weight bearing activity or be sporadic.

The most common cause of heel pain in adults is insertional plantar fasciitis. This is where there is an inflammatory response at the insertion of the plantar fascia into the calcaneus (heel bone). The main purpose of the plantar fascia is to support the foot during gait and issues may begin if there is a sudden or gradual load increase on the feet. Load increase may occur as a result of increased or change of type of exercise, weight gain or occupational reasons.

Pain on the posterior aspect of the heel is most commonly caused by issues associated with the insertion of the Achilles tendon. It I may include tendonitis ,apophysitis or bursitis.

Heel pain is common in active children between the ages of 8 and 14. It usually presents as calcaneal apophysitis and is associated with an active growth plate of the heel bone. Increased stress on the growth plate during its active growth phase may cause painful inflammation to occur.

There are many other causes of heel pain and a thorough assessment by your podiatrist is imperative for a correct diagnosis and treatment regime. Diagnostic measures may include a full biomechanical and gait assessment and medical imaging may be required.

Treatment of heel pain is very dependent on the diagnosis. Treatment may be a simple as footwear change and a few exercises or be more complicated in the form of insoles or functional foot orthoses.

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