A New Treatment Approach To Heel Pain

Heel Pain, often referred to as plantar fasciitis and heel spur, is one of the most common complaints presenting to a Podiatry clinic and is frequently a more complex problem than many first believe. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury affecting the sole or plantar surface of the heel. A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have chronic degeneration of the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes. Often patients are told that they have a heel spur. The heel spur is simply a reflection of excessive tension at the attachment of the fascia to the heel bone; there is no correlation between a spur and the onset of pain. It is the degree of degeneration of the fascia that causes the pain.

The condition starts gradually with mild pain under the heel often referred to as a stone bruise. You’re more likely to feel it after (not during) exercise. The pain classically occurs on taking your first few steps in the morning and again after a period of rest. If you don’t treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition resulting in additional symptoms of foot, knee, hip and back problems as your walking pattern changes due to the pain.

Traditionally treatment has included ice massage, orthotics, calf stretches and sometimes Cortisone injections. Whilst these treatments may still have a place in treating heel pain, excluding ice massage, a new treatment approach has emerged that has the ability to yield faster more long term resolution of symptoms.

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