14 October 2021
Heel pain is a common complaint which can have many causes, including sports injuries, a standing job, tight calf muscles, foot shape, poorly fitted shoes or sometimes an underlying medical condition. Typically the heel pain is felt beneath, behind or within the heel bone itself.
At Spire Gatwick Park Hospital we offer rapid access to our heel pain clinic providing same day diagnostics and treatment.
Causes of heel pain
The cause of your pain can often be identified by the location of the pain and symptoms you may be experiencing.
- Plantar fasciitis (a condition that affects 1 in 10 people) — a sharp pain between your arch and heel caused by the inflammation of a strong band of tissue that stretches from your heel to your toes. Symptoms include difficulty lifting your toes off the floor, pain that eases when you rest and pain that gets worse when you walk and is felt beneath the heel
- Achilles tendonitis — pain occurs in your ankle as well as your heel and calf, especially when you stand on your tiptoes or stretch your ankle. The tendonitis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the back of the heel
- Bursitis — bursa are fluid filled sacs found between muscles, tendons and bones. The bursa can become inflamed and cause pain in the back of the heel with redness and swelling
- Heel stress fracture — is due to repeated stress on the heel bone and eventually leading to a break. Usually causes significant pain in the heel which increases with activity and improves with rest. There may be swelling present along with tenderness felt in the area of the break
- Heel bump — an abnormal prominence at the back of the heel - sometimes called `pump bumps’ and occurs when a bony prominence at the back of the heel rubs against rigid shoes. You may notice redness and swelling around the lump, and it may be tender to touch
Getting a diagnosis
The heel pain clinic offers a complete assessment at your first visit including:
- A thorough history and examination
- A biomechanical examination of the foot including gait analysis
- An ultrasound scan to aid diagnosis of your heel pain
Following assessment, an individualised treatment plan can then be put in place that may include:
- Orthotics recommendations
- Shockwave therapy - a non-invasive treatment. A probe directs high energy soundwaves to the problem area to stimulate and speed up the healing process with the maximum benefits felt after 6-8 weeks. On average, this treatment is once a week for four weeks. Especially recommended for Plantar Fascilitis and Achilles’ Tendinopathy.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma injection - a sample of blood is taken from the patient and put through a centrifuge. The platelets and growth factors are injected into the heel to promote healing in injured tissue
- Steroid injection - a short-term remedy to reduce inflammation and pain
The aim of the clinic is to provide a personalised approach to treating these common conditions that can greatly affect quality of life. Whether you are an athlete or live a more sedentary life-style we aim to return to you to your previous level of activity as quickly as possible.
Consultant Podiatric Surgeon, Mr Deepak Pabari is part of the heel pain clinic team. He has extensive experience in treating foot and ankle conditions.
Book an appointment
Call us on 01293 778 906 or make an enquiry for our heel pain clinic.