December 7, 2012

Heel Pain Brisbane

Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain (heel spurs and plantar fasciitis ) is a common complaint that affects both men and women, regardless of age,activity or occupation. Heel pain can encompass a range of conditions and causes, and successful treatment requires a thorough knowledge of all these potential issues in order to achieve an optimal outcome.

X-ray of the calcaneus (heel bone)

X-ray of the heel

Many people with heel pain may have a bone spur present under the heel, but this is rarely the cause of the pain, or more likely to be a result of the condition.

The most common cause for heel pain is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of a band of tissue (the plantar fascia) within the arch of the foot that inserts into the heel bone. This commonly causes pain when getting out of bed in the morning, and may recur through the day. Often patients described the feeling of a ‘stone bruise’ under the heel. The treatment of plantar fasciitis can involve the use of taping, stretching, anti-inflammatory medication, foot orthoses and ultrasound therapy. Most people will respond to these conservative measures, however some may require an injection in the heel to help with the pain, or in the worst cases may require an operation to release part of the fascia.

Other causes of heel pain can include:

  •   Nerve entrapment’s within the heel (eg Baxter’s neuritis)
  •   Various types of arthritic conditions (eg psoriatic arthritis)
  •   Stress fractures of the calcaneus
    An x-ray showing a stress fracture of the calcaneus (heel bone) mimicking plantar fasciitis.

    An x-ray showing a stress fracture of the calcaneus (heel bone) mimicking plantar fasciitis.

  •   Referred pain from spinal problems

Your podiatrist will examine you and listen to your history to understand the exact cause of your heel pain.

Often we will recommend a stretching program, taping, avoidance of bare foot activity, orthotics and footwear changes. We will often also recommend a course of radial shockwave therapy, or a corticosteroid injection is symptoms are proving difficult to settle.

Most causes of heel pain are easily managed with simple treatments, and rarely require injections or surgery. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment with one of our podiatrists if you are suffering from chronic or acute heel pain.