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Feature Article

Walking away from heel pain

KATRINA PAVIC, HEIDI KIM, QUEENIE LUU
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© MINOLI/SHUTTERSTOCK
© MINOLI/SHUTTERSTOCK

Abstract

Although heel pain usually occurs due to biomechanical factors, the aetiology is multifactorial. The most common causes are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy. Management strategies revolve around pain reduction, adjustment of load and strengthening.

Key Points

  • Heel pain usually occurs due to biomechanical factors.
  • The most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy.
  • Heel pain can occur secondary to an underlying inflammatory arthropathy, in which case referral to a rheumatologist is recommended.
  • Most cases of heel pain can be diagnosed clinically.
  • Depending on the underlying aetiology, a guided exercise program may be warranted for the management of heel pain.
  • The prognosis of plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy is favourable.

Figures

© MINOLI/SHUTTERSTOCK
© MINOLI/SHUTTERSTOCK