Heel pain is a very common foot complaint and may involve injury to the bone, fat pad, ligaments, tendons or muscles.

Who Suffers from Heel Pain?

Anyone can suffer from ankle & 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.

Common Sources of Heel Pain

  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinitis
  • Cramps
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heel Spur
  • High Ankle Sprain
  • Muscle Strain (Muscle Pain)
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Peroneal Tendonitis
  • Pes Planus – Flat Feet
  • Pinched Nerve
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Posterior Ankle Impingement
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Retrocalcaneal Bursitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Severs Disease
  • Shin Splints
  • Sprained Ankle
  • Stress Fracture Feet
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Common Causes of 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 programme
  • Heel trauma eg. stress fractures
  • Bursitis (inflammation of a bursa)
  • Health disorders, including diabetes and arthritis.
  • Referred Sources

It is important to get thoroughly assessed to ensure an accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Heel pain can also be caused by a pinched nerve in your lower back eg sciatica. The detailed diagnosis needs to be done by an experienced physiotherapist.

Most Ankle, Foot and Heel pains can be successfully treated via:

  • Pain and pressure relief techniques
  • Biomechanical correction eg orthotics, taping, foot posture exercises
  • Muscle stretches and massage
  • Lower limb muscle strengthening
  • Proprioceptive and balance exercises to stimulate your foot intrinsic muscles.

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 matches for your foot and also discuss your training regime. With accurate assessment and early intervention, most heel pain injuries respond extremely quickly to physiotherapy allowing you to resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living.

Please ask you physiotherapist at Befit Physiotherapy for their professional treatment advice.