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Heel Pain

Having Heel Pain is a common foot complaint. Although, about 15% cases of heel pain are attributed to plantar fasciitis (1), there are a number of other conditions as well that may present with heel pain, such as, bone fractures, acute or chronic injury to the ligaments and tendons, arthritis or formation of bony spurs due to wrong choice of footwear.

What is Heel Pain?

Your foot and ankle are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons. The heel is the largest bone in your foot. There are a number of different conditions and injuries that can cause heel pain including:

Heel Pain

Signs and Symptoms of Heel Pain

While symptoms can vary depending on the type of Heel Pain, characteristic symptoms of Heel Pain are:

  • Pain and rigidity in the morning when you try to get out of bed
  • Stiffness or swelling of mid-foot
  • Worsening of pain over time (in the absence of any intervention)

Causes of Heel Pain

If you have following risk factors, you are at higher risk of developing significant plantar heel pain:

  • Bone and joint deformities
  • Inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis (bone and joint inflammation)  and rheumatoid arthritis
  • History of damaged ligament or tendons of the foot
  • Obese middle-aged to elderly individuals
  • Athletes

Statistics and Epidemiology related to Heel Pain

Acute or chronic plantar heel pain is the primary complaint of about 20.9% Australians visiting their podiatrists each year (2)

  1. Buchbinder, R. (2004). Plantar fasciitis. New England Journal of Medicine, 350(21), 2159-2166.
  2. Hill, C. L., Gill, T. K., Menz, H. B., & Taylor, A. W. (2008). Prevalence and correlates of foot pain in a population-based study: the North West Adelaide health study. J Foot Ankle Res, 1(2), 1-7.
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Shoulder Pain Sydney CBD, Wynyard, Martin Place, Town Hall, Darling Harbour, Barrangaroo NSW | (02) 9934 9979

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