Heel Pain & Injury

Article by Shane Armfield

Suffering Heel Pain?

Heel pain and  injury are extremely common. With accurate assessment and early treatment most ankle and foot injuries respond extremely quickly to physiotherapy allowing you to quickly resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living.

heel pain

Heel or Foot Pain?

You may not be aware that the under surface of your heel is a cushion of fat that protects your heel bone (calcaneus) from the impact stresses of walking, running, jumping and landing. Heel pain is a very common foot complaint and may involve injury to the bone, fat pad, ligaments, tendons or muscles.

Common heel injuries include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, fat pad injuries and Sever’s disease.
 Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the ligament that runs the length of the foot, commonly caused by overstretching, flat feet or muscle weakness. It results in pain under the heel, particularly after rest or when walking and running.

heel spur is a bony growth where the plantar fascia inserts into your heel bone. It is the result of a chronic plantar fasciitis or delayed healing that causes bone to grow within the ligament.

The fat pad is normally injured by repeated landing trauma and can occasionally be a precursor to a stress fracture of the heel bone.

Sever’s disease is caused by stress on the growth plate in the heel bone and is common in active 8 to 13 year olds.

Anyone can suffer from heel pain, but certain groups seem to be at increased risk, including:
  • Middle aged men and women
  • Active people eg running sports
  • People who are very overweight 
  • Children aged between 8 and 13 years
  • Pregnant women
  • People who stand for long periods of time

What Commonly Causes Heel Pain?

Some of the many causes of heel pain can include:
  • Abnormal walking style (such as rolling the feet inwards)
  • Obesity
  • Ill-fitting shoes eg narrow toe, worn out shoes
  • Standing, running or jumping on hard surfaces
  • Recent changes in exercise program
  • Heel trauma eg. stress fractures 
  • Bursitis (inflammation of a bursa) 
  • Health disorders, including diabetes and arthritis.

How is Heel Pain Treated?

Most heel pain is caused by a combination of poor biomechanics, or muscle weakness or tightness. The good news is that heel pain can be effectively managed once the cause is identified.

Most heel pain can be successfully treated via:

If you feel that your footwear or sports training schedule are potentially causing your heel pain, then we recommend that you seek the advice of a sports physiotherapist, podiatrist or trained footwear specialist (not just a shop assistant) to see if your shoe is a match for your foot; or discuss your training regime to see if you are doing too much.

Heel pain and injury are extremely common. With accurate assessment and early treatment most ankle and foot injuries respond extremely quickly to physiotherapy allowing you to quickly resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living.

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Heel Pain & Injury Treatments

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Active Foot Posture Correction Exercises
  • Gait Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Heel Cups
  • Orthotics
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Walking Boot
  • Brace or Support
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Neurodynamics
  • Prehabilitation
  • Running Analysis
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Call PhysioWorks

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    Helpful Products for Heel Pain & Injury

    Heel Injuries

    Common Heel Pain & Injury Conditions

    General Information

    Heel Pain

    Traumatic Ankle Ligament Injuries


    Foot Injuries

    Bone Stress Injuries

    Degenerative Conditions

    Soft Tissue Inflammation

    Biomechanical Conditions

    Nerve-Related Sources

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    FAQs about Heel Pain & Injury

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  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are Common Adolescent / Children Leg Injuries?
  • What are Growing Pains?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What to expect when you visit PhysioWorks?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • Call PhysioWorks

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    Last updated 25-Aug-2017 04:35 PM

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