Help with Heel Pain Glasgow and Edinburgh
There a many existing biomechanically related conditions which could fall under the umbrella of ‘heel pain’. Some examples include plantarfasiitis, heel bone spurs, heel bone fractures, and nerve compressions.
Alignment changes of the foot and ankle are often the cause of these conditions, or at least contribute to the cause or prevent healing. Therefore, heel pain may be associated with foot pronation, pes planus, flat feet low arches or foot supination, high arched feet or the pes cavus foot.
The term plantarfasciitis can be better understood by dividing plantarfasciitis into three terms:
- ‘plantar’ refers to the sole of the foot,
- ‘fascia’ refers to the band of connective tissue and
- ‘itis’ refers to inflammation.
Therefore, in summary, plantarfasciitis refers to inflammation of the fascia band under the foot.
Patients suffering plantarfasciitis may feel increased pain on the inner (medial), underside (plantar) of the heel when they walk, suffer heel pain first thing in the morning or following periods of rest.
Plantarfasciitis is often over diagnosed.
Examples of other possible reasons for heel pain include;
- calcaneal bruising,
- calcaneal fracture,
- flexor hallucis longus tendonopathy,
- hallux limitus or hallux rigidus,
- lateral plantar or medial calcaneal nerve compressions, to name a few.
An over pronated (pes planus, flat foot, low arched foot) or supinated (pes cavus or high arched) foot may result in plantarfasciitis. It is important to correct foot posture in order to reduce the strain along the plantar fascia, as this will then aid healing and reduction of heel pain. Some patients will notice an instant reduction of heel pain when wearing foot orthotics, whilst other patients will begin to notice a reduction of their heel pain several months later.
Mhairi Friel is highly trained in foot therapy techniques which often means the patient does not need to wear foot orthotics at all to achieve the same results!! This course of treatment has been shown to negate the need for foot surgeries has proven to be particularly successful with athletes from all background, in particular ‘barefoot runners’ have loved the results of this treatment!
Heel spurs are common and can result in intense heel pain or no heel pain at all! A heel spur can be described as the formation of calcium deposits on the plantar surface of the heel bone (calcaneus) which protrude into the soft fat pad underneath the heel bone.
The formation of a heel spur can be associated with plantarfasiitis and therefore foot posture may play a key role in the ongoing heel pain. Associated foot posture changes include; foot pronation (low arched feet, pes planus, flat feet) or supination (high arched feet or pes cavus). It is important to correct foot posture in order to reduce the strain under the foot and allow healing and a reduction of heel pain.
Heel Bone Fracture
Heel bone (calcaneal) fractures are most often associated with sudden trauma, such as landing on the heel when falling. The over pronated (pes planus or low arced) foot type or the under pronated (pes cavus or high arched) foot type may be the associated biomechanical factor which slows the rate of healing of a heel bone a fracture.
A bursa is a fluid filled sac found in joints in the body which help to protect the joint against shock on impact. The bursa positioned close to the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle, may become inflamed and cause pain at the back of the heel.
Severs Disease is a common cause of heel pain in kids between the ages of 8 – 14 years. Severs disease is associated with inflammation of the bone growth plate, therefore affects kids as they go through a period of rapid growth. Severs disease can be associated with symptoms of heel pain. In the clinic, we tend to find patients respond very well to foot orthotic therapy with symptoms often significantly reducing within a couple of weeks following delivery of foot orthotics.
This is a ‘bony lump’ found on the back of the heel bone. It tends to develop through teenage years during periods of rapid growth. Most often the haglunds lump is not painful, however it does tend to cause irritation from footwear rubbing in adulthood.
Foot orthotics can help position the foot differently within the shoe, therefore reduce rubbing of the shoe over the haglunds.