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Guide by Condition: Heel & Foot Pain

Posted by Emily Ryan on

Understanding and living with heel and foot pain

Heel and foot pain is a very common condition with the main cause being plantar fasciitis which causes pain under the heel. It can be treated and can often go away in time.


What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is when the ligament that runs from under the heel along the sole of the foot becomes swollen over time. It results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot that is often most severe with the first steps of the day or after a period of rest. Pain can also occur when bending the foot and toes upwards towards the shin. The pain often happens gradually and in one-third of cases, affects both feet.


What causes plantar fasciitis?

The causes of plantar fasciitis aren’t entirely clear but risk factors include long periods of time standing, an increase in exercise or obesity. Other causes include inward rolling of the foot, a tight Achilles tendon or a lifestyle that involves very little exercise.

 

Treatment for plantar fasciitis

There are treatments for plantar fasciitis as in most cases symptoms do go away with time. Some home remedies that may be advised by a GP include:

  • Using an ice pack or cold therapy wrap under the heel for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours
  • Taking medication such as ibuprofen or paracetamol
  • Wearing shoes with a medium heel (2-3 cm)
  • Heel pads and specialist insoles
  • Gentle stretching exercises

More information:

NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heel-pain/

Sports injury clinic: http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/foot-heel-pain/plantar-fasciitis


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