Probably the most common complaint presenting at our podiatry centres, pain in the heel or pain in the arch often indicates inflammation of the long band of tissue under the foot (the plantar fascia). It can cause sharp pain and discomfort in either the mid arch region or at the inside heel, and less commonly the outside heel. It frequently causes pain upon rising from rest (especially first thing in the morning) and can progress to agony by the end of the day. Although plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of this heel pain, it must be skilfully differentially diagnosed from other conditions via a thorough history taking and physical examination.
Assessments are guided towards finding the cause of the injury, often mechanical in origin. Management may include one or a number of: stretching, footwear modification, orthotic devices, specially placed padding, dorsiflexion night splints, ice, and either topical or oral anti-inflammatories.