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What is causing my heel pain?

Foot-and-leg-problemsHeel

There are many reasons why the heel and foot can get sore. Here are some common reasons.

Heel Pain

Heel pain (Plantar fasciitis) can be caused by a range of different issues. Heel pain can be caused by the fat pad of the heel, or it could be a tendon irritation of the many foot muscles and fascia structure. The symptoms are usually pain on weightbearing, worst in the morning or after sitting to stand up. It can feel like a stone bruise or sharp like glass, and the foot feels tight.  

Arch / Instep Pain

Arch pain (Plantar fasciitis) can be caused by a range of different issues. . Arch pain can be related to the muscles that help the big toe, the bones that make up the “arch structure” can have extra bone that is irritating or rubbing in footwear and even the plantar fascia. The symptoms are usually pain with activity and get worse during the day.

Achilles Pain

Achilles tendon injuries commonly occur when there is an increase in sporting activities or poor running technique. Symptoms are typically a combination of pain and swelling in the Achilles tendon, thickening of the fibres and inability to perform strenuous tasks. Most patients with Achilles tendon injury respond well to conservative treatment, including some ruptures. There are different parts of the Achilles that can be affected such as

*Peritendinitis (inflammation of surround tissue of the tendon),

*Retrocalcaneal Bursitis (inflammation of sack of fluid that cushions the Achilles against the heel),

*Insertional Achilles tendonapathy (inflammation at the point where the Achilles tendon inserts into the heel bone), or

*Non-Insertional Achilles tendonapathy (inflammation at the middle of the Achilles tendon).  

Forefoot / Ball of foot Pain

The Forefoot (front ball of the foot) fat pad serves as a cushion and allows the front of the foot to shock absorb, but as we age or if you have more prominent joints under the ball of your feet, it begins to reduce. This often causes pain, fatigue and can lead to other issues like neuromas, callous, corns or deformities. There are a few conditions that put you at risk of this; geriatrics, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, arthritis, vascular disease, collagen disorders and corticosteroid use.

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?

Treatment involves a variety of methods and is based on your activity, biomechanics, whether pain came on quickly or gradually and what the root cause is. Here are some treatment modalities that are used to treat foot, heel and Achilles problems.

Its important to make sure the diagnosis is right, and that’s where we come in

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KATE CAETANO

Rehabilitation Podiatrist
and running coach

Get started solving your Foot & Leg pain with accurate and helpful diagnosis

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