heel pain heel pain heel pain heel pain heel pain heel pain heel by Abbydoc



               Heel Pain
               Heel pain is one of the most common
                                                                                                                                                                stressed muscles in a restful
                                                                                                                                                                state and preventing
                                                                                                                                                                stretching of the plantar
               conditions treated by podiatrists. It is
               often a message from the body that
                                                          HEEL SPUR                                                                                             fascia. Other physical
                                                          A common cause of heel pain is the                                                            heel    therapies may also be used,
               something is in need of medical atten-                                                                                                   bone
               tion. Pain that occurs right after an      heel spur, a bony growth under the                                                                    including ice-packs and
               injury or early in an illness may play     heel bone. There are no visible features                                                              ultra-sounds.
               a protective role, often warning us        on the heel, but a deep painful spot                                                                        These treatments will
               about the damage we have suffered.         can be found in or around the middle                                                                  effectively treat the majority
                                                          of the sole of the heel (see diagram).                                                                of heel and arch pain without
                                                                Approximately 10 per cent of the                                                                the need for surgery.
               Who gets heel pain?                        population may have heel spurs                       Plantar         Plantar       heel spur                Only a relatively few
               The greatest incidence of heel pain is     without any pain.                                    Fascia          Fasciitis                        cases of heel pain require
               seen in middle-aged men and women.               Heel spurs result from strain on                                                              surgery. If required, surgery is
               It is also seen in those who take part     the muscles of the foot. This may             ◗   Other soft-tissue growths.                 usually for the removal of a spur, but
               in regular sporting activities and those   result from biomechanical imbalance,          ◗   Heel bumps or ‘pump bumps’, a              also may involve release of the plantar
               significantly overweight and on their      a condition occurring in many people.             bone enlargement at the back of            fascia, removal of a bursa, or a
               feet a lot. Heel pain can also occur in                                                      the heel bone.                             removal of a neuroma or other soft-
               children, usually between 8 and 13, as     PLANTAR FASCIITIS                             ◗   Bruises or stress fractures to the         tissue growth.
               they become increasingly active in         Both heel pain and heel spurs are                 heel bone.
               sporting activities.                       frequently associated with an                                                              RECOVERY
                                                          inflammation of the long band of              Overcoming the                               Your recovery will depend on the
                                                          tissue that connects the heel and the                                                      cause of your heel pain and your
               The causes of heel pain                    ball of the foot. The inflammation of
                                                                                                        problem                                      individual health. If you are suffering
               While heel pain has many causes,           this arch area is called plantar fasciitis.   If pain and other symptoms of                with a heel spur or plantar fasciitis, it
               it is usually the result of faulty               The inflammation may be                 inflammation – redness, swelling, heat       normally takes about six to eight
               biomechanics (abnormalities in the         aggravated by shoes that lack                 – persist, you should limit normal           weeks for a healthy individual to fully
               way we walk). This can place too           appropriate support, especially in the        daily activities and consult your local      recover. That is when the injured area
               much stress on the heel bone and the       arch area, and by the chronic irritation      podiatrist.                                  is fully rested or properly strapped.
               soft tissues attached to it.               that sometimes accompanies an                       Your podiatrist may conduct a
                      The stress may also result from     athletic lifestyle.                           number of x-rays to look for heel            Preventing future
               injury, or a bruise incurred while                                                       spurs or fractures.
               walking, running or jumping on hard        OTHER CAUSES OF HEEL PAIN                                                                  problems
               surfaces; wearing poorly constructed       ◗ Excessive rolling in of the feet            TREATMENT                                    FOOTWEAR
               footwear; or being significantly               when walking.                             Early treatment might involve exercise       Wear shoes that fit well – front, back
               overweight.                                ◗   An inflamed bursa (bursitis), a           and shoe recommendations, taping or          and sides – and have shock-absorbent
                      Systemic diseases such as               small, irritated sack of fluid at the     strapping and anti-inflammatory              soles, rigid uppers and supportive heel
               arthritis and diabetes can also                back of the heel.                         medication (such as aspirin). Taping or      counters. Do not wear shoes with
               contribute to heel pain.                   ◗   A neuroma (a nerve growth).               strapping supports the foot, placing         excessive wear on heels or soles.
               Prepare properly before exercising.
                                                        feet and lower limbs. Podiatrists have
                                                        completed a Bachelor of Podiatry or
               Warm-up before running or walking,       higher degree, and are continually
               and do some stretching exercises         upgrading their skills and knowledge
               afterward.                               through further education and
                     Pace yourself when you             training.
               participate in athletic activities. If         Regular visits to your podiatrist
               overweight, try non weight-bearing       can help prevent recurrences of heel
               activities such as swimming or           pain and other associated foot
               cycling.                                 problems.

                                                        Where can I find a
                 Keep the                               podiatrist?
                 calf muscles
                 flexible                               Refer to your Yellow PagesTM for a list
                                                        of podiatrists in your area, or contact
                                                        the Australian Podiatry Association in
                                                        your state.
                                                              Many health funds in Australia
                                                        provide cover for podiatry services on
                                                        their ancillary tables and government
                                                        funded services are available through
                                                        the Department of Veterans’ Affairs,
                                                        some public hospitals and community
                                                        health centres.
                                                        *This information should not be used as a
               Your podiatrist may also use taping or   substitute for podiatric or medical attention.
               strapping to provide extra support for
               your foot. Orthoses (shoe inserts)       MY PODIATRIST IS:
               specifically made to suit your needs
               may be also be prescribed.

               How your podiatrist
               can help
               Podiatrists are highly skilled foot
               health professionals trained to deal
                                                                       Published in the interest
               with the prevention, diagnosis,                         of foot health by the
               treatment and rehabilitation of                         Australian Podiatry Council
               medical and surgical conditions of the                  ACN 008 488 748

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