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Heel pain and heel spurs is one of the most common conditions treated by our podiatrists, it is often a result of weak or faulty biomechanics of the feet and or lower limbs. Poor biomechanics and posture can place excessive load on the heel bone and soft tissue around and attached to it, such as the plantar fascia.
This stress may also result from injury such as being overweight, overused, improper footwear or systemic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. This stress often results from injury whilst walking, running or jumping on hard or uneven surfaces.
Heel and arch pain is predominantly seen in middle aged men and women (40 years+), however all ages are at risk of suffering from the condition. It is also common amongst people who take part in regular sporting activities or are constantly on their feet. The most likely condition in this case would be Plantar Fasciitis (acute) or Plantar Fasciosis (long term). This refers to inflammation of the ligament-like structure that runs under the foot from the heel, along the arch to the toes. Pain associated with this condition is most commonly reported as being worse in the morning when the first few steps are taken or after standing after a long period of sitting. People that stand for long periods of time are also at risk of suffering from this condition. Heel Spurs can also form over time as a result of having Plantar Fasciitis for an extended period of time.
Heel pain can also affect children between the ages of 8 to 14, as they become involved in sporting activities. This condition is called Sever’s Disease and can be quite debilitating for very active children. Pain is normally reported during running and jumping and will only subside when activity does. The primary cause of the pain is tension of the achilles tendon pulling on the active growth plate of the heel bone. Whilst the child will eventually grow out of the condition, management and treatment is required to allow the child to return to normal activity and to be pain-free. This is a condition rarely seen amongst inactive children. The condition most likely to affect adults that has a similar presentation (yet related to tight and inflammed muscles and not an inflammed growth plate) is that of Achilles Tendonitis.
If you suffer from pain, inflammation, tenderness or immobility related to your heel or arch pain, consult Hollie or Lukasz, as early assessment and treatment.