Heel pain is one of the most common forms of foot pain and plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. At Alternative Foot Solutions, heel pain is the second most common reason people come in to see us for treatment.
As with a lot of things that relate to the body and pain, there are a number of myths and misconceptions around heel pain. Some of these come from old ways that medical and health professionals’ thought was happening in years gone by, others come from incorrect information being passed on through word of mouth. However they have come about, I will attempt to set the record straight.
Three common myths and misconceptions that people have about heel pain and plantar fasciitis are:
- Heel spurs cause heel pain
When people see a heel spur on an X-ray, they can look really nasty, and it’s hard not to think that they would cause the pain you are feeling in your heel. For a time, it was thought that heel spurs did cause heel pain and so this is a myth that has lasted to this day.
However, we now know that heel spurs don’t cause heel pain. With more people getting X-rays these days, it is very regularly seen that people have heel pain but don’t have a heel spur. Also, it is common to see people have a heel spur on the foot that is not painful, while the foot that has pain, doesn’t have a heel spur.
- Cortisone injections fix heel pain
A lot of people try cortisone injections to help relieve their heel pain. Usually this is done after trying other forms of treatment. Cortisone injections are sold to people as a fix for heel pain, but in reality, it doesn’t solve the problem for a lot of people. Firstly, cortisone injections will only mask the pain and don’t fix the reason you got heel pain. Secondly, cortisone injections don’t always work. For one person it will get rid of all the pain instantly, for another it won’t do anything at all. For some it will relieve heel pain for a time, but the pain can, and often does, come back.
- Plantar fasciitis only causes pain underneath the heel
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, but a lot of people can have plantar fasciitis and not have heel pain. Whilst the most common symptom of plantarfasciitis is heel pain on the bottom of the heel, it can also occur as pain in the medial arch, and around the sides of the heel. Some people may have the pain in all the above areas and others in any combination of the above areas.