The Most Common Causes of Heel Injuries
Heel pain isn’t normally associated with a serious injury but it can affect usual activities. It can be an intense pain that has got worse gradually but may decrease with activity and can cause limping.
The most common of all heel pain causes is plantar fasciitis, which accounts for about 80% of all cases. Here, the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the rest of the foot, becomes damaged and thickened. In young people, this generally results from sudden damage although it may result from wear and tear for those over forty. You’re also at increased risk if you’re overweight, frequently wear shoes without heels or spend a lot of time standing.
Other causes of foot pain include:
- heel spurs — calcium deposits that form on the underside of the heel bone, sometimes are painful and are often associated with plantar fasciitis
- stress fractures (small cracks) in the heel bone that may result from damage
- bursitis where small, fluid-filled sacs between tendons and bones become inflamed
- foot pad atrophy where fat under the heel bone wastes away due to undue strain
- Sever’s disease is common in children and causes pain due to muscles and tendons stretching during growth spurts
- tarsal tunnel syndrome is pain due to nerve damage in the tarsal tunnel that runs on the inside of the ankle joint.
Whatever the source of your heel pain, our experienced and knowledgeable podiatrists will be able to identify it and recommend a suitable treatment. We aim to relieve your pain quickly, restore full mobility and leave you free of pain in the future. So, if you experience severe heel pain or swelling that doesn’t clear and restricts your walking or running ability, book an appointment with our Brisbane podiatrist now and we’ll sort you out.
Do you find it hard to walk with your heel injuries?
Walk Without Pain can help you! Our podiatrists in Brisbane have over 120 years’ combined experience, so we’ve seen and improved almost every ailment and injury which affects your mobility. Heel pain can be very debilitating and we aim to resolve it as efficiently as possible. We use the latest techniques and technology to create personalised care and treatment to help you Walk Without Pain.
Do you suffer from a heel injury? Walk Without Pain has the right solution for you
Using computer aided design and manufacture CADCAM, we can prescribe orthotic insoles to bring your feet to proper alignment. They are custom made orthotics to work with your feet and help resolve any pain you have while walking when your injured heel repairs. We have a broad range of orthotic options that will work with most types of footwear. We can even fit them to shoes you already own.
To help with heel pain, we also offer shock wave therapy. A handheld device delivers shock waves to the injured area by tapping the inflamed tissue. The body will spring into action to repair this new, minor injury, bringing healing blood cells to the damaged area. The treatment of a heel injury takes place 3-4 times over the space of a month and is mostly used to treat pain lasting over three months.
Children very rarely get plantar fasciitis or heel spurs but do get a heel injury that feels much the same. It is called Sever’s a child’s enjoyment of sport. Happily, the treatment for this condition is very quick and effective.
Achilles’ issues are also common in causing heel pain. We can scan your Achilles on site with a diagnostic ultrasound to work out which of the half dozen causes is affecting you. Some issues can be very quickly treated with injection therapy and some require a slow and steady course of rehabilitation.
How can you prevent heel injuries?
If you’re reading this, you probably already have heel pain. But, if not, there are easy ways to prevent most pain in your heels or stop it from returning.
- Wear shoes that fit properly, support the foot, and are suited for activities you’re doing
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Stretch your muscles before exercising and pace yourself throughout the workout
- Rest when your muscles begin to ache or feel tired
- Maintain a healthy weight
- If you have to stand for long periods of time, try to stand on a mat which can help cushion the load your feet have to bear. Make sure you have regular breaks to move around.
- Keep a good posture when walking or running
Start Your Injury Treatment Today at Walk Without Pain
We work with Bupa, Medicare, and Medibank, so you know you’re getting quality care when you come to us with heel injuries. We have podiatrists in four convenient locations across Brisbane: Hamilton, Bribie Island, Indooroopilly and Toombul. You can visit any of our podiatrists, book 24/7 through our online service, email us, or just give us a call. We’re happy to help anyone of all ages to improve your mobility and help ease the pain. All of our treatments are completely personalised and tailored to you and your ailment so come and visit Walk Without Pain today. Read More
How Long Does It Take For A Heel Injury To Heal?
It is a different story if you have a perfectly normal foot that something abnormal has happened to. For example, jumping from a moderate height and bruising the heel should recover within a couple of weeks. In treating a traumatic injury, we would generally apply a brace to keep the tissues of the bottom of your foot ‘short’, so they don’t get made to bear your body weight. This way, the damaged structure can rest and heal. Ten days is a rough guide to the time needed to recover.
Without treatment, a mild heel injury, such as a bruise, can take up to two weeks to heal. However, not all heel injuries are equal, and if you are in a lot of pain, there is a possibility there is a serious problem underlying the pain. Most podiatrists in Brisbane will urge you to use rest, ice packs, compression, or elevation, but you should immediately see a foot doctor for more serious injuries.
How Do You Know You Have An Injured Heel Or A Fracture?
At first, stress fractures can feel very similar to Plantar Fasciitis and are often caused by similar things. If you are undertaking intense exercise, repetitive tasks which keep you on your feet, or have taken a high impact to your feet, there is always the possibility of suffering from either problem.
However, while plantar fasciitis is pain caused by damage to a ligament-like structure called a fascia, a stress fracture is actual damage to the heel bone in the form of a small crack. With plantar fasciitis, the pain most typically has a gradual increase or times when the pain is absent. A heel fracture will have sudden sharp waves of intense pain with no step being not painful.
Other symptoms of a fractured heel include:
- Redness and swelling on your injured heel
- Pain that gets worse when stretching
- Pain that increases the longer you are on your feet.
What Else Could Cause Pain Under The Heel?
There are actually a lot of things that can cause pain that needs to be differentiated from fasciitis. These include damage to the fat pad, irritation of the nerves as they pass from the leg to the sole, damage to a small muscle or tendon within the foot or tendonitis of one of the longer muscles of the leg. Our podiatrists are adept at differentiating the cause of the pain so we can provide you with the best treatment. Read Less