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What is the true cause of your heel pain?

Plantar fasciitis is a commonly diagnosed condition for heel pain that results from inflammation of the plantar fascia.

Symptoms typically include:

  • A sharp burning pain when pressure is applied to the bottom of the foot – often described as ‘like stepping on glass’

  • More prevalent in the morning or after prolonged walking or standing

This pain can be very limiting and difficult to treat.

Does this sound like your heel pain?

Unfortunately more often than not plantar fasciitis is used as an umbrella diagnosis for heel pain.

The plantar fascia is a very strong connective tissue that wraps from your heel to the base of your toes. It has to be extremely strong and durable to be able to manage the weight bearing forces of not just standing but exponentially increased forces such as running or jumping.

It is unlikely that you are going to wake up one day and find that this connective tissue, that is built to withstand tremendous forces, has become so brittle that you can’t put your body weight on it.

Commonly, we find that heel pain is due to an irritation of one or more of the following nerves in the foot:

  • Tibial, with its medial and lateral plantar branches

  • Saphenous

  • Sural

These irritated nerves can be traced up the leg and often into the back. The irritation can be a result of a seemingly unrelated injury, a mal-alignment of structures (such as bones in the foot), hip or knee dysfunction, or issues of the spine.

An effective treatment of heel pain locates the source of the irritation (foot, knee, hip, back) through a detailed physical examination. This ensures that we can treat the source of your heel pain as well as calming the local irritation in the foot.

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