Getting the right diagnosis
Most people who have heel pain seek advice from one of two people. Their own doctor, or more commonly these days, Doctor Google!
Unfortunately, a correct diagnosis can only be made with the correct questions being asked, and after a good history has been taken. Most people with heel pain get a dianosis of Plantar Fasciitis, which is not always correct!
Why the history of the pain is important!
To correctly diagnose the problem, here are a few of the questions which need to be answered!
When did it first start?
What were you doing at the time?
How often does it occur? Daily, Weekly, Constantly?
What aggravates the pain?
What eases the pain?
What have you tried so far?
Are these sports injuries?
Without these basic questions being asked, a diagnosis cannot be made.
What Type of Activites Do You Do?
A person's lifestyle has a hugh impact on their life and well-being! This needs to be looked at as part of along side the patient's history.
Park Run's on a weekend are becoming very popular, but what is the persons activities during the week? And how many activities does the person participate in all together?
If someone is a keen runner, running three times a week, with rest days between, they will have better recovery than someone who is also going to two Zumba classes, aqua-aerobics, and hitting the gym three evenings a week.
Add this to an occupation which keeps someone on their feet for 6-8 hours a day, and the stresses on the body becomes even worse!
I'm quietly confident Dr Google won't ask these questions when before considering it's options for 'Heel Pain'.
How Is Your Foot Moving?
How the foot moves will have a big impact of the tissues and other structures within the foot, ankle and even the knee and above!
If one foot isn't moving sufficiently, then the other leg / foot may be over-compensating.
Likewise, if someone is 'hyper-mobile' or joints move 'too much', this can cause pressure, stress and tension within the structures of the feet when standing still and / or when walking / running.
Not Pain Free When Resting?
If you get heel pain when you are resting - e.g. sat watching the tv with your feet elevated, then there's a good chance it's NOT plantar fasciitis, or at least it's not just the plantar fascia that's causing the pain. There's a good chance there is nerve involvement.
The origin of nerve pain can come from many different areas of the foot, or even the lower back!
Are You Wearing The Right Footwear?
We've all heard the phrase 'the right tool for the right job', and the same goes for footwear.
Are your shoes suitable for the task you are doing? Are they giving you good support and cushioning, or are they flat, with a hard leather sole, giving no shock-absorption.
The number of times a person has said "It can't be they shoes causing my foot pain, they were very expensive".
Get the footwear right and you can be on the correct road to pain-free feet.