Pain in or around your heel may be due to plantar fasciitis, or more correctly, plantar fasciosis. It can feel like a bruise or burning pain under your heel, tender on firm pressure. It usually starts for no apparent reason but can be the result of poor anatomical alignment of the foot and/or tight calf muscles.

Poor standing and incorrect movement patterns in walking can put uneven load on the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of connective tissue along the sole of the foot that inserts into the calcaneus or heel bone. This is where the pain is most commonly felt and is often referred to as a heel spur. It is typically painful first thing in the morning when weight is first put through the heel, or when taking weight after sitting for a long time.

Treatment can include:

  • Taping the sole of the foot to unload the plantar fascia
  • Soft orthotics
  • Calf stretches
  • Correction of faulty movement patterns which result in poor lower limb mechanics

Anti Inflammatory medication and steroid injections are often unhelpful as there is usually no inflammation. Hence the name plantar fasciosis as opposed to plantar fasciitis. It is always better to try and eliminate the aggravating factors, rather than just treating the symptoms which is only of benefit in the short term.

If you’re experiencing pain in or around your heel, you should seek advice from an experienced physical therapist to help treat and manage your pain.

knowledge … self-management … prevention