Do you have heel pain?
Want to listen to the blog? No problem, here is the audio file for you 🙂
With lots of different causes of heel pain and sometimes a combination of problems happening at the same time, it can make getting you an accurate diagnosis of your heel pain, tricky.
Here is a list of just some of them and my translations of the jargon:-
- Plantar fasciitis (the answer you find when you google heel pain, classic symptoms:- pain on initially standing up in the morning ;aches)
- Heel pad syndrome (where the fatty pad under the heel bone gets irritated and inflamed)
- Heel bone swelling (where the marrow of the actual heel bone itself gets inflamed)
- Insertional Achilles tendinopathy (where the tendon at the back of your leg gets damaged, loses tensile strength and becomes painful)
- Calcaneal apophysitis (fancy words for tendon pulling on the growth plate of the heel bone; seen in some adolescents during growth spurts)
- Nerve entrapment/impingement (you have nerve fibres going under the heel that can get squashed by things around them, so you can get nerve pain)
- Radicular pain (this is where a nerve in the spine gets trapped or squashed eg. if you have spinal arthritis or disc damage) and yes, you might feel this as a pain in your heel!
- Dry heel cracks in the skin can be really sore too
Is all heel pain plantarfasciitis?
No. A google search might have you believe that all heel pain is plantar fasciitis. (Or faciosis…depending on which definition we decide to argue about). Word games aside, if your heel is sore then its sore and quite frankly you don’t care what anybody calls it, you just want it fixed!
After I finished writing this blog, my colleague Robert Isaacs put this song on You Tube, I just had to put the link in here for you, it is both funny and informative.. well I think so.. 🙂
Cue Sherlock podiatrist!
That’s where I can help you. Starting with the “Sherlock Holmes” bit, I take a detailed history about the problem. How it came about what makes it worse, better, etc. I will physically examine you and test some of the tissue structures to rule out some of the conditions listed above. Together, we can then get to an accurate diagnosis and work out what treatments to use to help you. How good would it be to get back to doing the stuff you love to do like the ParkRun, walking, dancing, Skiing, ice skating and being active?
Hear what Nick Knight (a top Specialist Sports Podiatrist says about heel pain)
Within the podiatry profession the topic and debate about heel pain comes up often. I want this blog to help you, particularly if you’re suffering from heel pain right now. To bring you the very latest thinking on it, I decided to talk to someone who knows even more about this stuff than I do: Nick Knight Nick really knows a lot about heel pain, he treats many cases every week. How about taking 10 minutes to have listen to the recording of the interview I did with him where he gives us some answers and tips on what you can do right now?
But if you don’t have 10 minutes to spare to do that here are the key points:-
How common is plantarfasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis accounts for 47% of heel pain cases in Nick’s clinic
What else causes heel pain?
There might be more than one thing causing your heel pain like bony swelling, irritated fat pad, nerve entrapment among others (see the list above).
Why is a detailed history so important?
The history points to the diagnosis and combining a history together with a physiological examination leads to a more accurate diagnosis. Developing an individual treatment and rehabilitation plan with you and designed for you will get the best result.
Is there a quick fix?
There are often things we can do straightaway to reduce the pain, like supportive strapping, or adding some cushioning to footwear. Then your rehabilitation exercises and strength training begins! The key is consistency over time to get the best result and I wont lie, it can take months sometimes. The human body goes at its own pace.
Top tips to help your heel pain:-
- Put a plastic water bottle in the freezer and use it as a frozen cylinder to roll under the arch of your sore foot every evening, alternate 10 mins rolling, 10 minutes off and repeat 3 times.
- Make sure that your shoes have support in them and possibly a slight heel to take the strain off the tendon at the back of your leg.
- If you think you have plantarfasciitis do these calf stretches:-
- Even if your heel pain goes, keep doing the stretches to prevent it coming back. (this is like brushing your teeth it needs to be a lifelong habit)
If your heel pain continues its a good idea to invest in seeing someone who deals with feet every day! Your friendly local Podiatrist! If you are in Great Sankey in Warrington, that might be us here at Lane Ends Podiatry, plug plug! We will be happy to see you and do our best to help you get comfortable again.