Melbourne podiatrists can diagnose and treat your heel pain

Heel pain is often complex and there can be many different foot conditions which can result in heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain that we see at our Melbourne clinic and it is often poorly understood by patients and some health practitioners. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is another common cause of heel pain with symptom similar to that of plantar fasciitis and as such it often gets misdiagnosed.

To successfully treat heel pain you need to firstly accurately diagnose the cause of it. Our podiatrists are experienced in all forms of heel pain and will diagnose the cause of your heel pain. Often heel pain can be caused by poor foot mechanics or poor footwear. Our podiatrists can use computer gait analysis to check your feet and gait and see if they are contributing to your heel pain. Treatment of heel pain varies depending on diagnosis so consultation with one our Melbourne podiatrists is recommended for all types of heel pain.

Heel pain treatment Melbourne

Common causes of heel pain

There are many conditions which cause heel pain. Thorough consultation and diagnosis by one of our podiatrists is recommended if you suffer from any heel pain. Below are some of the more common causes of heel pain that we see at our Melbourne podiatry clinic:

plantar fasciitis treatment MelbournePlantar fasciitis is a common condition that results in pain in the heel or arch of the foot. It is caused by excessive load and strain on the plantar fascia, which is a thick ligament that runs under the arch of the foot. Symptoms are most often felt at the plantar fascia insertion in the heel and it is often referred to as a heel spur. Common causes can include poor foot and lower leg mechanics and a tight plantar fascia.

Our podiatrists see plantar fasciitis every day in our Melbourne clinic and we know the keys to successful treatment. Unlike other treatments our treatment focuses on the cause of plantar fasciitis. Orthotics can often be a great help in treating this common condition.

For more information please see our page on plantar fasciitis treatment.

tarsal tunnel treatment MelbourneTarsal tunnel syndrome results from entrapment of the posterior tibial nerve in the tarsal tunnel which is situated on the inside of your ankle. The nerve compression causes referred pain along the nerve route to the heel and arch. Symptoms can present as a burning, numbing or tingling sensation radiating into the heel or arch. Symptoms are often worse after activity and sometimes can be present at night.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome symptoms can present similar to plantar fasciitis and as such it is often misdiagnosed by health professionals. Our podiatrists have experience in diagnosing and treating tarsal tunnel syndrome and know which foot types are more prone to it.

A common cause of tarsal tunnel syndrome is excess foot pronation. When the foot excessively rolls inwards the nerve is often trapped amongst the tendons that are working hard to support the foot as it pronates. Constant repetitive compression forces on the nerve through poor foot mechanics will lead to tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome at our Melbourne foot clinic focuses on the cause. Our podiatrists can use computer gait analysis to see if your feet excessively pronate. Treatment options include orthotics, footwear advice and stretching. Our podiatrists find that this works for 95% of the cases we see. Cortisone injections are often reserved for those cases that don’t respond to conservative treatment. It is important to remember that cortisone treats only the inflammation associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome and it will not treat the cause.

heel pain treatment MelbourneA bruised heel is a very disabling condition caused by acute impact or repetitive forces to the tissues under the heel. The patient complains of severe heel pain and often finds it difficult to weight bear on the affected foot. A bruised heel can be common in long distance runners or other activities that involve repetitive pounding forces on the heel. It can also be caused by a fall or an awkward land on the heel.

Our podiatrists can use computer gait analysis to help identify if there are any biomechanical faults that may be causing heel pad flattening or increased forces on the heel. Treatment options at our Melbourne podiatry clinic can include CAM walkers to help remove heel forces and allow rest in more severe cases to footwear advice, padding, tapping, cushioning and orthotics in mild cases.

heel pain treatment MelbourneA heel stress fracture is a small crack in the heel bone. Symptoms may be similar to a bruised heel and often weight bearing, running or jumping is difficult. It is an overuse injury and is caused by repetitive impact forces on the heel. Heel stress fractures are more prone in long distance running or sports that involve jumping.

Treatment from our Melbourne podiatrists firstly involves accurate diagnosis. If any doubt a referral for a bone scan or MRI may be required as a stress fracture may not show up on initial x-rays. Treatment usually involves CAM walkers for complete rest of the area and to allow for healing.

heel pain treatment MelbourneHaglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel close to the Achilles tendon insertion. It is commonly referred to as a heel bump and is caused by excess traction and forces from the Achilles tendon on the back of the heel bone.  Pain is often felt when the overlying soft tissue area becomes red and inflamed as the bony bump rubs against the back of shoes.

Computer gait analysis can be used by our podiatrists to help see if there are any biomechanical faults that are causing excess rubbing or friction on the back of the heel. Treatment at our Melbourne clinic may involve stretching, orthotics and footwear advice.

heel pain treatment MelbourneSever’s disease is a common cause of heel pain in children around the ages of 8-14. It is caused by traction of the Achilles tendon on the growth plate on the back of the heel which leads to swelling within the bone. Symptoms are usually worse after activity and range from mild discomfort to limping after activity.

Our Melbourne podiatrists are highly experienced with children’s feet and can diagnose Sever’s disease clinically without the need for x-rays. Reducing strain at the growth plate is the key to treatment. Poor foot mechanics is often an overlooked factor that can lead to increased strain at the growth plate and Sever’s disease.

Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and management so the child can continue activity and sport. Sever’s disease will resolve once the heel bone stops growing. Treatment options at our Melbourne foot clinic can include stretching and orthotics, which help reduce growth plate strain by improving foot function and lower leg mechanics.

Heel pain and plantar fasciitis treatment Melbourne

Orthotics can help treat the cause of heel pain

orthotics to treat heel pain in Melbourne

Orthotics can be helpful in treating causes of heel pain such as plantar fasciitis and tarsal tunnel syndrome as they help improve foot function and lower leg mechanics. Accurate diagnosis of your heel pain and accurate orthotic prescription is vital for successful heel pain treatment. With plantar fasciitis a poor orthotic can actually increase forces on the heel causing more pain. With tarsal tunnel a poor orthotic script may actually cause nerve compression.

If you are suffering from heel pain make an appointment with one of our friendly podiatrists at our Melbourne foot clinic. We are experts in custom orthotic prescription to help treat heel pain and guarantee you accurate devices through our custom orthotics guarantee.

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Do you suffer from heel pain?

Our team of podiatrists at our foot clinic in Melbourne are experienced in treating all forms of heel pain including plantar fasciitis. They will diagnose the cause of your heel pain and help you successfully treat it by addressing the factors that are causing it.

To book a consultation with one of our podiatrists, get in touch with us today.