For the next 3 weeks we will be focussing our efforts in and out the practice to raise awareness of the Podiatrist’s role in the treatment of heel pain, or plantar fasciitis as it often (wrongly) referred to.
Given that around 10% of the population will suffer with heel pain in their lifetime and how debilitating and frustrating the pain can be, it’s a bit surprising that most of those people won’t consider a Podiatrist when seeking treatment or advice. Or perhaps it’s not surprising when we are often seen an “nail cutters” rather than experts in the foot and the disorders relating to it.
So, what is our role and what can we do? Firstly, we can expertly diagnose the cause of the heel pain. This is the most important step (pardon the pun) as without an accurate diagnosis, the condition, which is notoriously difficulty to treat anyway, becomes even more difficult. Secondly, we can advise on appropriate treatment plan.
Those seeking relief from the pain will know that orthotics (arch supports) are one of the first-line treatments. However, we find that many patients think they have done this stage by wearing shoes “with an arch in them” or by purchasing generic devices over the internet or from the chemist. In our experience, these attempts at foot control are often a waste of time and money and provide little or no improvement at all. Podiatrists are the go-to professional for orthotics. We can prescribe devices which provide the right level of control and support and although these won’t always cure the heel pain, they will put the foot in the best position for improvement.
Beyond orthotics, we can advise on appropriate strengthening and stretching exercises as well as knowing when we need to refer for shockwave, injection or surgical therapy.
So, if you, or anyone you know, are suffering with heel pain we hope that you will spread the word that Podiatrists heal heels!
Send us your email address for a free advice sheet, or pop into The Foot Room to pick one up.