Heel pain is a common injury that Podiatrists treat on a daily basis. Most of the time, pain in the heel can be considered Plantar Fasciitis, and like many of us we tend to rely on Dr. Google to provide us with the answers! However , sometimes that painful heel could be something completely different!
Whilst the plantar fascia is often the structure involved, there are many other structures in our feet that can become overused, inflamed or acutely injured.
The conditions include but not limited to are:
- Baxter’s nerve impingement: The baxter nerve is a nerve branch that runs beneath the heel bone. Baxter’s nerve impingement can produce symptoms very similar to plantar fasciitis. Up to 20% of cases of chronic heel pain are caused by Baxter’s nerve entrapment. The baxter’s nerve runs between the abductor hallucis and plantar fascia and can sometimes become entrapped due to foot related issues such as flat feet, pronation, high arched feet etc.
- Heel fat pad bruising: Surrounding the heel bone is fat pad tissue that provides cushioing and protection from impact injuries. The heel bone bears most of the weight during the heel strike phase of a gait cycle. Due to this some people may experience overuse or repetitive impact causing a bruise in the fat pad tissue.
- Abductor Hallucis strain: People with abductor hallucis issues normally report pain on the inside of the heel and this pain can move towards the arch area. Sometimes if a person has heavy pronation or flat feet it can put extra strain on the Abductor Hallucis muscle belly.
Our Podiatrists at Be Podiatry are experts with Plantar Heel pain and will be able to appropriately assess and treat your heel pain. A few strategies we might look at are:
- Strength and flexibility
- Flexible foot orthotics
So if you are unsure what your heel pain is, or you have been told it is Plantar Fasciitis but you’re not getting better; please book an appointment with one of our Super star Podiatrists and get your heel pain fixed!