Heel pain is generally caused by heel spurs. These are commonly seen in patients who have a history of foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia runs from the heel bone to the toes it is the connective tissue that binds the structure of the foot together. Most patients who complain of heel pain will say that the pain was in the arch area but has now moved backwards into the heel area.
The most common complaint is pain when getting out of bed first thing in the morning, or when sitting for a while and then standing up. If your foot flattens or becomes unstable during critical times in the walking or running cycle, the attachment of the plantar fascia into your heel bone may begin to stretch and pull away from the heel bone. This will result in pain and possibly swelling. The pain is especially noticeable when you push off with your toes while walking. Since this movement stretches the already inflamed portion of the fascia.
Without treatment the pain will usually spread around the heel. The pain is usually centered at a location just in front of the heel toward the arch. When the tearing occurs at the bone itself the bone may attempt to heal itself by producing new bone. This results in the development of a heel spur. Without the spur the condition is called plantar fasciitis.
Often a patient will have an x-ray and this will show a large bony spur, however sometimes in patients with plantar fasciitis there is no pain around this bony spur. If you develop heel pain or arch pain it is most important that you visit a Podiatrist as soon as possible to have the condition treated. We will assess your gait using the latest footscan technology to see how your foot functions during gait, before deciding on a course of treatment.