As there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. Our Chartered Physiotherapists will be able to accurately diagnose the underlying source of your heel pain so that appropriate treatment can be applied.
Some of the common causes of heel pain include:
-Plantar fasciitis is the most common condition that often causes quite severe heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is due to irritation and inflammation of the tight tissue that forms the arch of the foot. For more info please click here
-A Heel Spur is commonly associated with plantar fasciitis. For more info please click here
-Posterior heel pain causes symptoms behind the foot, rather than underneath. For more info please click here
-Stress fractures of the calcaneus are an uncommon cause of heel pain. Stress fractures should be considered especially in athletes such as long distance runners who have heel pain. For full details on this condition, click here
-Tarsal tunnel syndrome causes a large nerve in the back of the foot to become entrapped, or pinched. Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the hand, tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause heel pain. For full details on this condition, click here
-Achilles tendonitis is a condition of irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Achilles tendonitis is a common overuse injury that tends to occur in middle-age recreational athletes. The overuse causes inflammation that can lead to pain, swelling and sometimes small tears within the tendon making it susceptible to rupture.
-Arthritis patients are prone to develop plantar fasciitis – particularly those with inflammatory forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis, as well as in those with fibromyalgia. For full details on this condition click here and for further related stories you can also check out our blog postings.
Symptoms of Heel Pain
If you are unsure of the cause of your symptoms, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, we can help. Our Chartered Physiotherapists are specifically trained in foot & ankles allowing us to offer you expertise in the treatment of most of the causes of Heel Pain.
Some signs that you should be seen by one of our Physios include:
-Inability to walk comfortably on the affected side- -Heel pain that occurs at night or while resting
-Heel pain that persists beyond a few days -Swelling or discoloration of the back of the foot
-Any other unusual symptoms
How We Treat a Painful Heel
Depending on what we diagnose your condition as, we may use one of more the following treatment options:
-Orthotics / Insoles Depending on your condition, we may recommend either off the shelf corrective insoles or customised orthotics, which we manufacture bespoke for you using our Gait Scan technology. We are Ireland’s largest provider of Customised Orthotics and our Chartered Physiotherapists are specifically trained in treatment of Heel Pain. For full details on this service, click here
-Exercises and Stretches Depending on your condition, we may create a bespoke exercise and stretch programme for you to alleviate the cause of your pain.
-Treatment to reduce Inflammation Depending on your condition, we may treat you with electrotherapy to help to both control heel pain and decrease inflammation.
-What to do before you come into us? We recommend that you come into see us as soon as you can, as leaving heel pain untreated can lead to further complications which ideally should be avoided. However, if you cannot see us immediately we recommend:
-Rest Take a few days off jogging or prolonged standing/walking. Resting will not cure you but may help to reduce inflammation and thus eliminate the most severe pain.
-Apply Ice Applying ice may help to diminish some of the symptoms and control the heel pain. Icing is especially helpful after an acute exacerbation of symptoms.
-Keep a Diary If you are able to tell us exactly what activities you perform that cause the pain, this will help us diagnose your condition. This is not 100% necessary, as we will be able to assess you ourselves but the more accurate information that you can provide our Physios the better.
Treatment for heel pain is offered at the following clinics.