Heel & Arch pain
At Waverley Foot Clinic we have recently seen an increase of patients coming to see us in relation to heel and arch pain. This is possibly linked with the good weather this summer and many people wearing flat sandals or flip flop type footwear (I will explain why later)
Heel and arch pain is often very severe and can be worse in the morning or after being seated during the day. The pain may slowly reduce as walking begins but can often return through the day causing constant discomfort. This condition is often called ‘Policeman’s Heel’ but the medical term for this problem is ‘Plantar Fasciitis’
Policeman’s Heel or Plantar Fasciitis
The reason this problem occurs is complex. Plantar fascia is the musculature on the sole of the foot which helps support your arch. This can become damaged and inflamed. Struggling to support the arch can take it’s toll resulting in the discomfort called Plantar Fasciitis. Tight calf muscles may also be involved as they alter the foot position in a way that causes more stress within the plantar fascia.
Wearing flat shoes such as sandals or flip flops often increases the stress within the plantar fascia muscle which can lead to this problem developing. Therefore following the long hot summer of 2018 an increase in heel pain symptoms has been frequently seen.
Diagram of the Plantar Fascia Muscle supporting your foot arch
Heel Pain Diagnosis & Treatment
Correct diagnosis is vital to ensure the correct treatment path. There may be another cause such as ‘Heel spur’ so specialized diagnostic skills are required. It’s important the correct diagnosis & treatment path is chosen early to ensure speedy recovery.
Waverley Foot Clinic has great experience treating such problems. Examination, including digital scanning of the gait cycle will determine the best treatment option to allow our patients pain relief as soon as possible.
Long term relief is often achieved with a two step process:-
- Tight calf muscles are usually connected with this condition. Theretofore calf stretching education is very beneficial. Also a specific device to assist the plantar fascia muscle stretching is usually recommended. Daily stretching of theses muscles help to start the process of resolution. Avoiding flat shoes is can also be extremely beneficial.
- Sometimes the plantar fascia muscle can’t support the arch. The muscle just isn’t strong enough to hold up the arch as we stand and walk. This can delay or prevent recovery and in this situation orthotic insoles are needed. Immediate and long term relief is enhanced by using orthotic insoles within the shoes supporting the arch and can reduce tension within calf muscles. For some patients this is the best treatment option.
Orthotic Insoles & foot pain relief
Waverley Foot Clinic uses the latest Gait Scan technology to assess for orthotics. Digital gait analysis is used to tell us how the foot functions as you walk. There is no need for plaster casts these days as the 3D Gait Scan technology produces your changing foot shape as you walk. This is essential to produce a dynamic insole to offer the correct treatment and constant support and comfort.
Also, a wide range of insole styles are available to choose. This ensures your orthotic insoles fit comfortably into your shoes. We aim to provide clinically effective insoles that comfortably fit into and transfer between your shoes easily.
Please see the GaitScan link to explain furtherhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eNLKg8esHg
Waverley Foot Clinic appointments & locationhttps://waverleyfootclinic.com/make-appointment/