Heel pain is one of the most common forms of foot pain in adults and often happens as a result of exercise and daily activities.
As the largest of the 26 bones in the foot, the heel provides a firm support for the weight of your body. Whilst walking and running, the stress placed on your feet can be up to one-and-a-quarter times your body weight.
There are number of causes of heel pain, such as:
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Heel spurs
- Inflammatory conditions such as bursitis and arthritis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Severs disease
- Stress fractures
If left untreated, heel pain can get worse. Your gait can change due to you being in discomfort and trying to avoid placing weight onto the heel. An altered gait may cause further problems with the rest of the feet, the knees, the hips and the back.
A shoe that offers support and cushioning will be beneficial when suffering with heel pain. You should avoid standing for long periods and walking long distances to relieve the symptoms.
Strengthening and stretching exercises may be beneficial. If the pain is severe, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken. If the heel pain is caused by a biomechanical abnormality, custom made orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist can help correct the underlying problem.