Healing your heel pain

Heel pain is not only irritating but it can be debilitating. It can stop you from doing the things you really want to do, from playing sport right through to just walking to the shops or even getting out of bed in the morning. It’s really not fun, and we understand. 

So what is actually causing your heel pain? Well, ‘plantar fasciitis’ is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a broad band of tough tissue which runs along the bottom of your foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. It’s a pretty important structure, and bears your weight constantly while you pound the pavement each day, so the most common cause of pain in this area is due to inflammation, perhaps from an injury. This inflammation and resulting pain is called plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is also most commonly sore where it attaches into the heel. A tell-tale sign that your plantar fascia is the cause of your pain is if you have heel pain first thing in the morning. There are also other causes of heel pain, including thinning of the fatty padding under the foot, bursitis or fracture and nerve entrapment- but these are all things that our podiatrists are trained to pick up on and can talk you through your specific problem at your appointment.

So even though your plantar fascia is a key player when it comes to proper foot function and is used every day, thankfully it can be healed and you can get active again without having to tip toe around in the meantime. We aim to heal you while you walk so that you can keep doing everything you would normally do. It is important plantar fasciitis is treated as soon as possible because sometimes you tend to walk different in an attempt to avoid the pain and then do more damage as a result. It’s really not worth it, and your best bet is to see a qualified podiatrist who can tell you exactly what’s wrong and what can be done to fix the problem.

What can be done?
The great thing about heel pain is that it is very treatable. Our treatments focus on treating the true cause of your foot pain. When we treat the cause the injury can heal itself without needing some of the more invasive treatments like painful cortisone injections or anti-inflammatory tablets which tend to mask the symptoms for a period of time and don’t actually treat the underlying problem anyway. Treatment for plantar fasciitis varies, but generally it includes wearing supportive foot wear and possibly podiatrist prescribed orthotics. Sometimes resting the area is needed or perhaps getting some Dolorclast Therapy, but your podiatrist can assess your feet and design a treatment plan specifically for you.

What happens at my appointment?
At your appointment your podiatrist will assess you thoroughly by asking detailed questions, locating the painful area, evaluating the way you walk, plus your foot and lower limb posture and assess the joints in your foot and lower limb. They might send you for an X-ray or ultrasound but generally your diagnosis will be reached then and there at your first appointment and you can start the treatment process straight away. (Which means you'll be pain free sooner! Hooray!) 

If you are suffering with heel pain don’t hobble around in pain any longer. We know it’s not fun to live with daily heel pain, so don’t put up with it! See one of our podiatrists at the Active Foot Clinic today, you can call us on 02 6925 8637 or make a booking online. To find the nearest Active Foot Clinic near you, visit our locations page

Cristy Houghton