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Pain in heel & foot

Author: Gautam Das

The foot and heels are the most load bearing components of our body which take most of the weight when walking, running, exercising or even standing up. The heels are especially vulnerable part which can face trauma and pain.

Causes for heel & foot pain:

  1. Planter Fasciitis: One of the commonest cause, Pain is felt more in the morning at morning after awaking up.
  2. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: Like carpal tunnel syndrome, it is not uncommon. Inflamed ligament at ankle compress post tibial nerve.
  3. Radicular pain or radiculopathy: In slip disc and sciatica when L5 or S1  nerve root is compressed or inflamed, patient may feel heel or ankle pain.
  4. Sprains or strains of foot: after any trauma including over exercise can produce ligaments injury and pain.
  5. Fractures: Stress or hairline fractures are not uncommon.
  6. Achilles tendinopathy & bursitis: It is the tendinous part of calf muscle which is attached to calcaneal bone. It can be injured or inflamed.
  7. Arthritis: Spondyloarthritis and gouty arthritis both are very common causes of heel and foot pain.

Treatments:

  1. Change of shoes: Shoes with soft sole are recommended.
  2. Physical Therapy: Shockwave or laser therapy may help.
  3. Ice packs: Cold compress and cold therapy reduces edema of inflamed ligaments of nerve and helps in reducing pain.
  4. Pain relief medications: Sometimes analgesics or adjuvants medicines are helpful.
  5. Interventional pain management: When all other options failed, interventional pain management is needed. Local steroid injection or, Platelet rich plasma injection can cure.
  6. Surgery: In extremely rare situations surgery may be needed.

It is however, advisable to visit a pain specialist doctor.

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