What is Heel Pain?

Heel-PainHeel pain is one of the most common conditions that affect the feet. The name is self explanatory, i.e. it is pain occurring in the heel, and this could be due to a number of reasons. It is often most painful when the foot is in use rather than at rest. Heel pain is a very common condition affecting approximately ten percent of the population at least once in their lives.

Causes of Heel Pain

Common causes of heel pain are bursitis, heel bumps, inflammation of the heel pad, stress fracture, nerve entrapment. Obesity can also contribute to heel pain, but the cause could be as simple as a blister or a verruca.

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis and as such the two terms have become interchangeable even though this is not strictly accurate

Treatment for Heel Pain

The type of treatment given is dependent on the cause of the heel pain. Common treatments for heel pain include prescription orthotics, special padded insoles, advice on good footwear that provide sufficient arch support and cushioning, exercise that help to gently stretch the calf muscles.

In some more stubborn case where conservative intervention does not help, surgery may be required. A consultation with your clinician will be able to decide what would be the best treatment

How to Prevent Heel Pain

Heel pain is best avoided by following the advice for avoiding Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis as these are common causes of heel pain (See above).

Other causes of heel pain such as a stress fracture or thinning fat pads may not be preventable, and the problem should be treated appropriately if and when it happens.