And so more and more of us are taking up walking and of course, what can come with that is foot and heel pain.
The foot is a complex structure of joints and ligaments with several significant muscle groups. These muscles have a role in both stabilising the foot and in propelling us along, as well acting as shock absorbers.
The two most common injuries or pain problems we see are heel pain (Policeman’s Heel), and plantar fasciitis.
Policeman’s heel is a term used to describe inflammation or irritation to the spongy pad or bursa which cushions the heel. Often extremely painful on weight bearing but more often a dull ache at rest. It is mainly concentrated around the heel but can refer through the sole of the foot. This condition normally becomes aggravated on high impact activity, a landing injury from a height, increased activity levels or worn trainers which result in a lack of shock absorbency and poor biomechanics.
Plantar fasciitis is an overload injury often causing micro-tears through the plantar fascia resulting in an inflammatory response but in the chronic stages causing the tissue to degenerate. The plantar fascia is the tissue that stretches from the heel to the base of the toes, along the sole of the foot. Patients will often experience start up pain on weight bearing with it easing with gentle activity, becoming sore with over loading and often pain at rest. This is common with people who decide to increase activities such as walking and running but increase them too quickly causing the overload. Often increasing activity whilst wearing poorly fitting footwear or inappropriate footwear being used for the activity being undertaken.
With both these conditions treatment revolves around reducing the load by rest from aggravating activities and by correcting any biomechanical problems through the lower limb and foot. This can often be in the form of an orthotic, strengthening and stretching exercises or strapping techniques that can be applied by your physiotherapist. Ice can be useful in the early stages to help with pain relief.
Generally, both conditions settle with early diagnosis, correct advice, exercises and treatment. If you currently have foot pain and would like us to take a look or if you would like some free advice then please don’t hesitate to call the clinic and one of our physio’s would be happy to help. Contact us on 01952 462330 or email at email@example.com