Pain is one of the main reasons why people seek help – with heel pain, seek the help of a chiropodist – your foot care specialist. The most common cause of heel pain is a condition called ‘plantar fasciitis.’ Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the dense band of tissue that connects the heel and the base of the toes. Due to a fallen arch and poor foot biomechanics, the resulting micro-tears and strain leads to inflammation and pain of the plantar fascia. People often feel it when they step out of bed onto the floor, or after prolonged sitting. Simple ways to reduce the inflammation are to rest, ice and elevate the foot. Taking shorter steps, avoiding high-impact exercises and avoiding walking barefoot also help. If the inflammation and pain is not addressed adequately, a bone spur can develop and the pain can become chronic. A chiropodist will assess your foot and address the faulty biomechanics, often with a custom prescribed foot orthotic, as well as stretches and teaching you how to better care for your feet.
Fallen arches, or ‘flat feet’
Having flat feet is a common finding. It is a lowering of the inside edge of your feet, leading to instability, local physical stress and reduces the shock-absorbing qualities of the arch. You may not suffer symptoms from fallen arches, though over time symptoms can develop: tired, stiff and sore arches; pain in the ankles, knees, hip or low back; painful shin splints with activity, Achilles tendonitis, bunions and osteoarthritis. It is important to address the foot instability and resulting faulty biomechanics of your feet due to the fallen arches. Foot orthotics are very helpful and stabilizes your fallen arch, reducing your symptoms. A chiropodist will conduct a complete biomechanical assessment of your flat feet and prescribe custom foot orthotics that match your unique foot structure and function.