Heels can become painful for a variety of reasons,
     - Bursitis
     - Plantar Fasciitis

These are the most common types of heel pain.
     - Bursitis often results from standing for long periods and can be helped with simple cushioning or gel heel cups etc.
     - Plantar Fasciitis
This is pain in the base of the heel which classically is worse after rest but can be worse the more you are on your feet. Typically it is one foot but can be in both.

It is the plantar fascia (soft tissue under the foot), which is pulling too hard on the heel bone and causing inflammation. The foot not functioning correctly often causes this.

At Walsh Podiatry we take a 5 steps treatment program. Simply by starting at the 1st stage and progressing on if the condition doesn’t resolve. However, most people don’t get past the 2nd stage as it nearly always clears up when we examine the way the foot functions in gait and treat this. The treatment for this condition is;

  1. Simple exercises and footwear changes. Calf stretching is good for this as often it is associated with a tight calf muscle. Good supportive footwear is essential, not too rigid a heel but the main thing is supportive, i.e lace up shoes / boots. Sandals do not particularly provide good foot support, although the vionic sandals can be a good compromise.
  2. Biomechanical assessment and prescription of insoles to improve the foot function (This is to see how your feet function when you walk. We use video gait and pressure analysis to show in detail how your feet are functioning. Then from this we make insoles or orthotics to help them function better). Because everyone walks very differently there is no one size fits all solution and to assess each person’s gait ensure the best treatment.
  3. FMT Treatment : Foot Mobilisation Treatment to free up soft tissue restrictions which are holding the foot in a poor position. A course of treatment over 6 weeks with a 3 week review to mobilise and adjust the joints and structures within the foot so they are able to function more efficiently.
  4. Cortisone Injection, This can be done with ultrasound guided local anaesthetic helping reduce the pain of the injection.  It can be a very effective way of quickly reducing the inflammation in the area. 
  5. Other treatments can be used on persistent cases if necessary.

Because we are all different in terms of how we walk one solution doesn’t always work for everyone. There are many products out there, which provide general support to our feet. These will claim to cure heel pain and correct your gait and in some people the pain may resolve.

However more often than not we find a more specific approach is better. Doing the biomechanical assessment allows us to determine your specific issues causing the problem and we can then treat you specifically with insoles / orthotics to not only cure the condition more effectively but to prevent its re-occurrence.