Heel pain / Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition affecting the heel. It is now referred to as Plantar Heel Pain. Often caused by repeated pounding of the heel on a hard surface or a sudden twist of the heel on an uneven surface. People with feet that roll in (called pronation) and have flat feet are more prone to getting it.
The plantar fascia is a tight band of tissue that supports the arch and stops the foot collapsing. When it is damaged it gets sore where it joins the heel bone. The pain is usually worst after you have been resting especially getting up in the morning and eases off with gentle stretches or walking. It usually goes in time with rest and using anti-inflammatory painkillers but generally we can’t keep off our feet for long enough to allow the area to settle.
It is best to support the foot in shoes with cushion soles and fastenings such as trainers and using a supportive insole inside can also speed up recovery.
Gentle calf stretches on the edge of a step will help relieve the pain especially first thing in the morning or after you have been sitting for a while. Rolling the heel and arch on a chilled water bottle or spiky ball can also be really helpful.
A steroid injection from your GP or other treatments such as acupuncture, laser therapy and physio manipulation may be used in more severe cases.