May is World Foot Health Awareness month, an international event to raise awareness of the importance of good foot health. This year the theme is ‘Let’s heal the heel pain!’
Heel pain is the most common foot problem worldwide. It usually affects one foot and the pain intensity builds up over time. This year’s theme focuses on the fact that anyone can get heel pain. An estimated 1 in 10 people will experience heel pain at least once in their life time.
The causes of heel pain are varied, and include nerve entrapment, disc disease, peripheral neuropathy, metabolic-like arthritis, gout, sickle cell disease, fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis and trauma, to name a few, traumatic.
The most common heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which has a mechanical aetiology. It is a persistent injury giving both clinician and patient a challenge for longevity of treatment.
The International Federation of Podiatrists – Fédération Internationale des Podologues – is a not-for-profit federation that with a focus on global leadership and the development of podiatric medicine around the world. The Federation was founded in 1947 and has grown to include 31 organisations representing 30 countries spread over six continents (www.fip-ifp.org).