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Heel Fix Kit ® Insoles

"I have been using HeelFixKit insoles for over a year now. I have several pairs to go into various pairs of shoes and have found they give me invaluable foot support. They have certainly alleviated much of the tension and strain I was suffering from. Without HeelFixKit insoles I would not be able to do the amount of walking that I can now."

Mr R Murray, Rochdale

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Can you help me understand my heel pain?

Most heel pain is related to a few structures on the plantar surface (sole) of the foot, which receive too much strain as your heel starts to leave the floor. This is why it is often painful as you rise up on to your toes. The most common structure injured is the plantar fascia (proper name the plantar aponeurosis).

Plantar aponeurosis diagram

This is made of tough fibrous tissue that tightens when your toes are bent upwards. It helps hold the heel and the forefoot together when you stand, and shortens the distance between the heel and the forefoot when you rise up on to your toes. This effectively raises the arch of your foot.

Arch raises diagram

Under the plantar fascia lie layers of muscles that work to pull the heel and forefoot together to make the foot stable when we stand or walk. There are also strong muscles that sit deep in the back of your leg that pull firmly on your toes to stabilise your forefoot when you lift your heel off the ground. All these muscles protect your plantar fascia and help keep the heel and forefoot from stretching away from each other.

Planta Fascia and muscles of the foot

Under the skin and below the plantar fascia as we stand is the plantar fat pad of the heel. This is an amazing viscoelastic structure that stops the heel bone (calcaneus) getting bruised as we walk. This is so good that bruising of the heel is very rare, unless the fat pad wastes away (atrophies). This can happen in diseases of connective tissue or poor circulation, but in rare cases can happen without an obvious cause (idiopathic).

Finally we have the Achilles tendon attaching to the back of the heel. The Achilles is attached to two powerful muscles, gastrocnemius and soleus, that stop the body falling forward as our body weight passes over the foot, then lifts the heel off the ground. Problems with the calf muscles and Achilles tendon are common, and will directly affect your strains through the foot. Achilles pain is always felt at the back of the heel not underneath. However, like plantar heel pain, pain is often worse first thing in the morning or after exercise. If your calf muscles are tight or weak (or both) then increased strain will be put on the plantar fascia and muscles.

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