The heels of our feet are exposed to considerable force every time we walk or run. Heel pain can have a significant impact on ones quality of life and can in some cases become disabling. The most common forms of heel pain are known as Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy.
The Heel Pain Clinic at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital offers innovative and advanced evidence treatments for heel pain. Treatments may include injection therapy, custom insoles and Shockwave therapy.
The Heel Pain Clinic was established to provide streamlined treatment for patients with heel pain, reducing the need multiple appointments with different healthcare professionals. It acts as a “one stop” clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of heel pain.
The heel pain clinic is supported by the Orthopaedic Consultant Foot & Ankle Surgeons, who can provide clinical support. The clinic has full access to a number of investigations including, Ultrasound, MRI scans and Bloods.
Should our patients require further or alternative management, we have access to other healthcare areas, such as rheumatology, neurology and pain managment.
How to access the Heel Pain Clinic
If you would like to be referred to the Heel Pain Clinic ask your GP to refer you. The Heel Pain Clinic is accessible via Choose and Book (reference 7450708)
Treatments offered at the Heel Pain Clinic
Treatment for heel pain usually involves using a combination of techniques and treatments including:
We may advise you to change your footwear. You should avoid wearing thin flat-soled shoes because they won't provide your heel with support and could make your heel pain worse. Ideally, you should wear shoes that cushion your heels and provide a good level of support to the arches of your feet. It is important to wear footwear with cushioning under the heels around the home.
Orthoses are medical insoles that fit inside your shoe. They alter the pressure and forces under your foot and provide some cushioning. There is good evidence, from medical studies, that orthoses can help reduce the symptoms associated with heel pain.
Specific exercise and stretching programs
There are a number of good quality medical trials that show that Stretches can help with heel pain. Exercises are often prescribed to stretch both your calf muscles and your plantar fascia (the band of tissue that runs under the sole of your foot). Our team can devise an individualised set of stretches and exercises to help restore your mobility and reduce pain.
Strapping and night splints
An alternative to using orthoses is to have your heel strapped with a special type of tape. This may help relieve pressure on your heel. We can teach you how to apply the tape yourself.
Night splints, which look like boots, are designed to keep your toes and feet pointing up while you're asleep. This will stretch both your Achilles tendon and your plantar fascia, which may help speed up your recovery time.
In some cases of heel pain, we may recommend the use of corticosteroid (Steroid) injections.
Corticosteroids are a type of medication that has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and can help to reduce pain. These injections are helpful in reducing pain in the short to medium term.
Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy (eSWT)
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a relatively new type of non-invasive treatment. Non-invasive means it doesn't involve making cuts into the body. The treatment involves using a device to deliver high-energy soundwaves into your heel. Shockwave therapy is thought to work in two ways:
- Have a "numbing" effect on the nerves that transmit pain signals to your brain
- Help stimulate and speed up the healing process
If you would like to know more, you can read the NICE guidance about using EST for treating plantar fasciitis
Contact the team
0121 685 4212