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Submitted by: Michelle Kwong
Heel pain is a common foot condition which present with severe pain or discomfort in the heel on weight bearing activities. Heel pain can get cured and recovery quickly if treated early and adequate rest. But if left untreated, pain on heel may become worse and chronic if initial symptoms are not given correct treatment.
What are the causes of Heel Pain?
Heel pain can be a condition of plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome.
Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the soft tissues at bottom of the foot. Plantar fascia may get irritated, pain, swelling, small tears or bruises in the plantar fascia with the inappropriate pounding force on the heel. The exact cause of plantar fascia pain is unknown. The contributing risk factors for plantar fasciitis could be being overweight, prolonged standing or walking, injury, wrong fitting footwear, stepping on objects.
As a person gets older, the fascia becomes less elastic. The heel pad becomes thinner and loses the capacity to absorb as much shock. The younger people, who are more active in sports, may suffer from heel pain too.
A heel spur is an extra bony growth on the underside of the heel bone, where the plantar fascia attaches. Heel spur may develop as a result of excessive and repetitive pulling of plantar fascia on the heel bone. The heel spur may irritate into the sensitive nerves and soft tissue, resulting in pain in the foot. A heel spur can develop together with plantar fasciitis, but may also occur by itself. Heel spurs can be seen in X-rays. Heel spurs are commonly affect middle-aged patients. Athletes are also prone to heel spur due to the repetitive stress on their heels during running. With abnormal walking or running gait pattern due to mechanics of foot or when the foot regularly hits the ground in unusual ways, damage or injury can occur since tissue becomes stretched or stress excessively, indirectly leading to formation of a heel spur.
The signs and symptoms of heel pain are burning, stabbing, sharp or aching pain in the heel or along the arch of the foot. Most people would feel it first thing in the morning when step on the floor because the fascia ligament tightens up during the night sleep. Or standing up after prolonged sitting. Resting provides only temporary relief.
In most cases, plantar fasciitis/ heel spur does not require surgery or invasive treatments or procedures to stop pain and reverse damage. Conservative treatments such as physiotherapy or physical therapy are usually all that is required. However, every person’s body responds to heel pain treatment differently and recovery times may vary. Physiotherapists are specialised in treating orthopaedics condition and able to determine the cause and type of your heel pain and treat it accordingly. Standard physiotherapy pain relief treatments such as ultrasound, electrical therapy, heat treatment, soft tissue massage, can help reduce and stop most heel pain. Interferential therapy- Electrical current that stimulates the peripheral sensory and muscle nerve fibres to reduce pain and inflammation. Ultrasound-The application of ultrasonic waves causing improved. Once pain is reduced, progression to lower limb strengthening program and gait walking education.
However, for chronic long term heel pain, Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy is a most effective and latest advanced treatment that has proven to cure heel pain. This shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment which works by activating the normal body healing process by the body by causing blood vessel formation and increased delivery of nutrients to the affected area, cell metabolism and cell membrane permeability, thereby enhancing tissue healing.
Visit a physiotherapist in Singapore to treat your heel pain or plantar fasciitis early. Do not delay in seeking physiotherapy treatment as the longer delay, will take a longer time to heal or cure heel pain. Physiotherapist can be found in hospital or private physio clinic in Singapore. Physioclinic has both physiotherapy and shockwave therapy treatment, combined with trained specialised physiotherapist that can accelerate your recovery the soonest.
About the Author: Michelle Kwong, Physiotherapist in Singapore, Physioclinic.
Heel pain treatment in Singapore
Physiotherapy treatment in Singapore