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Why do my heels hurt?

Plantar fasciitis, heel pain and heel spurs

One of the most common foot problems seen at The Foot Clinic Yarraville is heel pain.

Heel pain image area of pain

Usually pain is located directly underneath the heel and is worst when getting out of bed in the morning. Once you warm up and get moving the pain often settles. The pain can also return after periods of rest or non weight bearing. Over time without treatment this pain can become worse and scar tissue can develop. The pain starts as a niggly discomfort and over time becomes more severe which may lead to limping. This limping may lead to other part of the body becoming painful or injured. This type of pain is often diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is usually detectable on ultrasound and occasionally troublesome heel spurs may be present. More often than not the plantar fascia is the structure that causes pain rather than the heel spur itself.

Would you believe 15% of the population have asymptomatic heel spurs!


Some of the causes of heel pain:
- Trauma from sport or athletic activities.
- Foot posture related (ie. a pronated or supinated foot type)
- Muscle tightness in the calf.
- Inappropriate runners (ie. runners with too little or too much rear or midfoot control)


What our assessment involves:
At the Foot Clinic Podiatry we will assess range of motion to determine if there is any reduced movement in any joints or apparent muscle contractures. Further to this assessment a thorough gait analysis will be performed. Initially barefoot and then footwear can be assessed to determine if your current runner is appropriate.

Treatment types:
- Muscle stretching and strengthening.
- Custom orthotic prescription to correct foot posture, reduce pressure and strain through the plantar fascia.
- Dry needling to improve muscle length and reduce contractures
- Fitting of cam boots for plantar fascia tears
If plantar fasciitis is not treated troublesome scar tissue and ongoing pain may occur. Sometimes plantar fascial tears may develop in the plantar fasciitis is untreated.