What is heel pain?
Heel pain is characterized by a sharp shooting pain in and around the heel area. It is most common in the morning and when getting up from a sitting position.
Four common types of heel pain.
- Heel spurs (plantar fasciitis)
- Heel bursitis
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Heel Bumps
What causes heel pain?
It is caused by repetitive impact on the heel. This is often triggered by activities such running, tennis, hill walking and other forms of exercise. This is particularly common when taking part in activities that you have not done for some time.
However, it is not just activity that can cause the condition, it may occur due to age, gaining weight or a period of time in flip-flops after being on holiday. If you keep a note of what you are doing when the pain most often occurs this can help your podiatrist determine the most appropriate form of treatment.
How can heel pain be treated?
Heel pain can be extremely debilitating and can be an ongoing problem if not treated correctly.
In the short term, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the pain. Ibuprofen can be taken to reduce the swelling but this should not be used as a long-term solution. Make sure to follow the directions on the packet and do not exceed the recommended dosage or period of use. You can also use an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a tea towel under the heel to help relieve the pain.
To resolve, the problem in the long term a visit to a podiatrist can determine the exact cause of the condition and determine the appropriate treatment. In order to do this, the podiatrist will undertake a footwear and lifestyle assessment. As a result of this, they may prescribe exercises or an orthotics to correct the problem.
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