Heel pain is a common condition that can be caused by various factors. It typically occurs at the back or underside of the heel and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. Here are some common causes and treatments for heel pain:
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It occurs when the thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. Treatment may include rest, ice, stretching exercises, orthotic shoe inserts, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications.
- Achilles Tendinitis: This condition involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Treatment may include rest, ice, physical therapy, and sometimes a heel lift to reduce stress on the tendon.
- Heel Spurs: Heel spurs are bony growths that can form on the heel bone and sometimes cause pain. Treatment often focuses on addressing the underlying cause, such as plantar fasciitis, rather than the spur itself.
- Sever’s Disease: This condition is common in children and adolescents and is related to the growth plate in the heel. Rest, supportive shoes, and physical therapy can help alleviate pain.
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist, this condition involves compression of the tibial nerve in the ankle, leading to heel pain. Treatment may include orthotics, physical therapy, or in severe cases, surgery.
- Heel Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa sac near the heel can cause pain. Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and sometimes injections may be used for treatment.
- Fat Pad Atrophy: As people age, the fat pad on the underside of the heel can thin, leading to pain. Cushioned shoes and orthotics may provide relief.
- Stress Fractures: Overuse or repetitive impact on the heel can lead to stress fractures. Rest and proper support are essential for healing.
- Heel Pain Due to Injury: Trauma, such as a bruise or impact injury to the heel, can result in pain. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) can be helpful.
If you have any type of heel pain, contact us to book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists today!