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Heel Pain

Heel pain is a common occurrence in today's society. An average of about 4-7 percent of the general population suffers from it and about one in ten persons will develop it during their lifetime. Here you will exclusively find experienced specialists and clinics in Germany, Switzerland or Austria. Learn more about causes, diagnosis and therapy or get in touch with our experts.


Specialists in Heel Pain

Information About the Field of Heel Pain

What are the causes of heel pain?

Most of the cases of heel pain are caused by overstraining. These excessive strains are promoted and brought about by a wide range of risk factors. Among them are foot malpositions, extensive physical or athletic stress, instability of muscles, ligaments and tendons, shoes that are flat or too advanced age.

Nowadays, being overweight is more and more regarded as an important risk factor and trigger for heel pain as the foot is constantly exposed to high stress caused by the increased weight. Apart from that, there are also rare causes of heel pain, such as inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, injuries of the heel bone (calcaneus) or tarsal tunnel syndrome in which the pain is caused by nerve irritation. 

How can heel pain be treated?

Once heel pain appears, it can be relieved by various methods. First of all, the affected foot should be rested and relieved from the weight. Cooling can also help to decrease the pain. Another option is a gentle massage of the heel.

For prevention as well as for acute cases, appropriate shoes should be worn and if necessary, custom made insoles should be fitted. The footbed of the shoes should be fitting for the foot as well as shock-absorbing. A heel wedge can provide additional pressure relief.

Also prescribed pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications prescribed, such as ibuprofen.

As a general rule, therapy should be focused on addressing the cause of the pain. A long-term and more satisfactory condition without pain can only be achieved in this manner.

Exercises for heel pain

There are several stretching exercises that can be easily performed at home that can help treat or counteract heel pain. They focus on stretching the calf muscles and the arch of the foot. These exercises should be carried out over a longer period of time and can be done several times a day (about 3 times) to achieve the best possible results.

Exercise for stretching the calf muscles

Sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out, wrap a (hand) towel around the ball of the foot of the affected side and pull the foot towards your body by tugging the towel. Hold this position for about 15 seconds, relax and repeat this exercise 10 times.

Exercise for stretching the arch of the foot

Take a seat on a chair and rest the affected foot on the knee of the other leg. Grab the toes of the affected side with the hand of the same side and pull the foot in the direction of the affected side. Hold for about 10 seconds, then relax and repeat 10 times.

Exercise for stretching the plantar fascia (= tendon plate of the sole of the foot) using a bottle or something similar

Sit on a chair, place the bottle on the floor in front of you and roll your affected foot over the bottle thereby moving it forwards and backwards. Stretch for about 1 minute.

When to visit a doctor for heel pain?

By following the measures and exercises mentioned above, the majority of people with heel pain improve over time without having to consult a doctor. Nevertheless, a consultation with a doctor is recommended as soon as the pain in the heel occurs together with fever or other features that indicate an inflammation. These include excessive warmth, swelling and redness.

It is also advisable to seek medical advice if the heel pain appears acutely and is severe, if the patient can no longer step on the foot or if the pain persists for more than 2 weeks despite rest and relaxation.

Which doctors and clinics are specialists for heel pain?

The first place to go with heel pain is the family doctor. Physical examinations as well as measures to relieve the pain can be carried out there. Should the pain persist or should it require further investigation, patients will be referred to a specialist in orthopedics.

Let us help you find an expert for your condition. All listed doctors and clinics have been checked by us for their outstanding specialization in the area of heel pain and are looking forward to your inquiry or your request for treatment.