Heel pain is a common symptom that has many possible causes. Although Heel Pain
sometimes is caused by a systemic (body-wide) illness,
such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, it usually is a local condition that affects only the foot. The most common local causes of heel pain includePlantar fasciitis, Heel spur, Calcaneal apophysitis,
Bursitis, Pump bump, Local bruises, Achilles tendonitis,Trapped nerve.
Pain in the foot can be due to a problem in any part of the foot. Bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, fascia, toenail beds, nerves, blood vessels, or skin can be the source of foot pain. The cause of
foot pain can be narrowed down by location and by considering some of the most common causes of foot pain. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia, a band of tough
tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes, becomes irritated or inflamed. Heel pain, worst in the morning when getting out of bed, is the most common symptom. Arch pain may also be present.
Pain in the heel can be caused by many things. The commonest cause is plantar fascitis. Other causes include, being overweight, constantly being on your feet, especially on a hard surface like
concrete and wearing hard-soled footwear, thinning or weakness of the fat pads of the heel, injury to the bones or padding of the heel, arthritis in the ankle or heel (subtalar) joint, irritation of
the nerves on the inner or outer sides of the heel, fracture of the heel bone (calcaneum).
To arrive at a diagnosis, the foot and ankle surgeon will obtain your medical history and examine your foot. Throughout this process the surgeon rules out all the possible causes for your heel pain
other than plantar fasciitis. In addition, diagnostic imaging studies such as x-rays or other imaging modalities may be used to distinguish the different types of heel pain. Sometimes heel spurs are
found in patients with plantar fasciitis, but these are rarely a source of pain. When they are present, the condition may be diagnosed as plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome.
Non Surgical Treatment
The podiatric physician will examine the area and may perform diagnostic X-rays to rule out problems of the bone. Early treatment might involve oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication,
exercise and shoe recommendations, taping or strapping, or use of shoe inserts or orthotic devices. Taping or strapping supports the foot, placing stressed muscles and tendons in a physiologically
restful state. Physical therapy may be used in conjunction with such treatments. A functional orthotic device may be prescribed for correcting biomechanical imbalance, controlling excessive
pronation, and supporting the ligaments and tendons attaching to the heel bone. It will effectively treat the majority of heel and arch pain without the need for surgery. Only a relatively few cases
of heel pain require more advanced treatments or surgery. If surgery is necessary, it may involve the release of the plantar fascia, removal of a spur, removal of a bursa, or removal of a neuroma or
other soft-tissue growth.
Surgery to correct heel pain is generally only recommended if orthotic treatment has failed. There are some exceptions to this course of treatment and it is up to you and your doctor to determine the
most appropriate course of treatment. Following surgical treatment to correct heel pain the patient will generally have to continue the use of orthotics. The surgery does not correct the cause of the
heel pain. The surgery will eliminate the pain but the process that caused the pain will continue without the use of orthotics. If orthotics have been prescribed prior to surgery they generally do
not have to be remade.
Being overweight can place excess pressure and strain on your feet, particularly on your heels. Losing weight, and maintaining a healthy weight by combining regular exercise with a healthy, balanced
diet, can be beneficial for your feet. Wearing appropriate footwear is also important. Ideally, you should wear shoes with a low to moderate heel that supports and cushions your arches and heels.
Avoid wearing shoes with no heels.