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Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis

01 Overview

Heel pain can be debilitating and severely affect daily activity. The most common cause of heel pain is Plantar Fasciitis, however, consideration for other causes should always be considered, these include nerve compression, inflammation of the fat pad and even stress fracture.

02 Details

Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain

Pain in the heel can be debilitating and severely affect daily activity. The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, however, consideration for other causes should always be considered, these include nerve compression, inflammation of the fat pad and even stress fracture.

Diagnosis tends to be clinical, based on history/activity and symptoms followed by an assessment. This often enough to provide a very accurate diagnosis, sometimes imaging is used to confirm the diagnosis. Ultrasound examination is excellent for this purpose as it is quick and sensitive. It assesses the thickness of the plantar fascia as it arises from the heel bone, it can identify any tears or ruptures.

The plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue that maintains the integrity of the arch of the foot, acts as a shock absorber and aids in the toe-off phase of the walking cycle.

The plantar fascia originates from the inside of the heel bone/calcaneum, spans the arch and attaches into the bases of the toes.