Heel pain is a common presentation that we see as podiatrists. ‘Heel pain’ is a broad term and can encompass many different conditions.
Pain under the heel is also called plantar heel pain. Plantar fasciitis/ fasciopathy is a common condition but care needs to be taken that all plantar heel pain is not diagnosed as this. Other conditions that can cause plantar heel pain are nerve entrapment. There are several nerve branches that can become entrapped and symptoms can include burning pain, pins and needles, numbness and tingling. Other causes include fat pad atrophy, bone infection (osteomyelitis), stress fracture of the calcaneus, plantar fascia rupture, muscular pain and bone/soft tissue tumours.
Heel pain can also affect the posterior portion of the heel or calcaneus. Again several pathologies can occur in this region and common complaints include insertional achilles tendinopathy/ calcific tendinosis, Haglund’s pathology and retro-calcaneal bursitis.
It is important to see a qualified health professional/ podiatrist to determine the cause of the heel pain and an appropriate management/ treatment plan.