At Brighton Podiatry we specialise in the treatment of heel pain. Most Podiatrists will suggest Orthotics straight away, however at Brighton Podiatry we realise that heel pain can be successfully treated in most patients without the use of Orthotic Therapy. We use the latest technology to treat heel pain and most patients will notice a marked reduction in pain after just one visit.
So What Causes It ?
Heel pain is often caused by excessive traction (or pulling on the plantar fascia) this is most often caused by abnormal biomechanics or put more simply the way we walk. Heel Pain can also be caused by a bruised heel or poorly constructed or worn out footwear. The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones located in the foot, pain may occur at the front of this bone under it on the sides or at the back.
One of the most common cause of heel pain is a heel spur this can be diagnosed with an x-ray of the foot. A bony projection is clearly noticeable on the x-ray. Sometimes you can get pain in this area with no spur on x-ray, this condition is known as enthesopathy it is often a precursor to the development of a bony spur this condition is often called Heel Spur Syndrome (HSS).
Heel spurs can develop after having long bouts of Plantar Fasciitis the continual pulling of this structure results in arch pain.
Heel Pain can often be a result of excess pronation or as it is more commonly known “flattening of the arch” As we walk the heel hits the ground first and then the centre of pressure moves to the outside of the foot then eventually out through the large toe. The arch rises and the foot structure becomes a ridged lever to propel the body forward. If a foot pronates excessively this conversion of the foot into a ridged lever does not happen and the arch collapses, this causes a stretching effect on the plantar fascia which can lead to an inflammatory reaction in this structure which can eventually lead to heel pain.
Heel pain can also occur in children although the mechanism behind this pain is generally different, it is often a result of growth. Activity inflames the growth plate in the heel, it is most common between the ages of 8 and 13 and we often find these children exhibit an excessive amount of pronation. At Brighton Podiatry we deal with this problem quite frequently and we aim to keep your child as active as possible. Just because a child has heel pain does not mean they cannot play sport. If your child has heel pain give us a call and make an appointment.
Treatment with Cortisone
Many medical practitioners will recommend an injection of cortisone into the heel to stop heel pain. This is often a very painful injection and unless it is very accurately administered, also its duration is often very short. It is usually only a few weeks before the patient once again has heel pain. More cortisone shots will have long term side effects on the tissue in the heel.
Many patients will try all sort of “home remedies” with little luck and in fact many of these remedies can actually increase heel pain, stretching in most cases will increase heel pain as will over the counter orthotics these will often put more pressure in the arch area which will aggravate the plantar fascia and eventually lead to more heel pain. Another treatment that can be used is EWST or Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy this is an older form of treatment that has largely fallen from favour these days however a few practitioners still use this outdated modality.
Orthotics to help
Othotics can be a great long term help to patients with certain foot types, we can successfully lessen the heel pain that most patients feel in the short term, however some patients will require the use of Orthotics as a long term solution to their heel pain. At Brighton Podiatry we will assess your feet and work out the best short term and long term solution to your heel pain.
There are many causes of heel pain and there are many people who claim to be able to “cure” heel pain. We have been practicing for over 20 years and have a wealth of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of heel pain. We employ the latest technology to give you relief to your heel pain fast. We don’t just put all patients with this condition straight into Orthotics, we listen to your symptoms and we may order diagnostic tests such as x-rays and ultrasounds to build up an accurate clinical picture of the causes of your heel pain. Then we will come up with a treatment plan to solve your issues with heel pain as fast as humanly possible. We understand the pressures of modern life dictate a speedy return back to full activity. If you suffer heel pain look no further than Brighton podiatry.