Heel pain is a very common debilitating complaint among people with foot pain. In fact up to 80% Australians will suffer with heel pain at some stage of their life.
This is by far the most common cause of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis that results in heel pain is where the plantar fasciitis get micro tears around its attachment point at the base of the heel that bleed and become inflamed. It is commonly felt in the morning, after weight bearing or activity and after rest. If left unchecked the micro tears can lead to bigger tears which are much harder to address.
Beneath or heel bone (calcaneus) is a fat pad which acts like a cushion for when our heel strikes the ground. With heavy loading of the heel due to a range of factors that can lead to it becoming very inflamed which can be very painful and feels like bruising at the heel.
This occurs with repetitive strain from pulling on the bone from the attachment point of the plantar fascia. This is why it is important that if you do get pain in your heel it is important to get it treated asap to avoid secondary complications like this.
There is a nerve that runs on the inside aspect of the heel near the plantar fascia. This can become trapped and very inflamed and give off a shooting pain, which can radiate down the foot.
The main underlying cause of heel pain is misalignment of the bones of your foot and ankle that leads to compensation of the soft tissues around the heel area. Which in turn leads to micro tears in the tissue and inflammation that leads to pain. This misalignment affects the way you stand and the way that you walk.
The best way to treat heel pain is to address the underlying cause which is the level of misalignment the bones of your feet. The alignment of your joints will affect the way you stand and walk. Feet that are out of alignment will cause compensation through the soft tissues which leads to pain and inflammation.
The way we treat the underlying cause is by correcting this misalignment of your joints through a technique called foot mobilisation therapy. That corrects the alignment joints through a gentle hands on technique and then we reinforce this position by strengthening the muscles that surround the relevant joints. The great news is that this change is long term and you don’t have to wear orthotics or change your shoes, or activity.