Do you feel a stabbing pain in your heel with your first steps out of bed in the morning? You’re not alone. Aching heels can truly affect your lifestyle, preventing you from playing sports to simply going for a walk. The most common causes to heel pain include:
Inflammation of the band of fibrous connective tissue (fascia) running along the bottom (plantar) surface of the foot from heel to ball.
A bony growth on the underside of the heel bone which may result from strain the ball of the foot and repeated tearing away of the membrane that covers the heel bone.
Excessive inward motion can create an abnormal amount of stretching and pulling on the ligaments and tendons that attach to the bottom back part of the heel bone. Excessive pronation may also contribute to injury to the hip, knew, and lower back.
Inflammation of the Achilles tendon as it runs behind the ankle and inserts on the back surface of the heel bone.
Other possible causes of heel pain can include arthritis, Haglund’s deformity (a bone enlargement where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone), inflamed bursa, or other soft-tissue growths, bruises, or contusions which involve inflammation of the tissues that cover the heel bone.
Contributing factors associated with heel pain include age (decreased flexibility), sudden change in activity (particularly activities that increase weight bearing or pressure on the foot), flat, pronated, or high-arched feet, a sudden increase in weight, pregnancy, stress from injury, a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces, or medical conditions such as tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Begin treating heel pain by avoiding pressure or tension on the inflamed area, giving your feed ample rest. Apply ice and heat packs in alternating fashion to accelerate the process of healing. Another option is to use custom insoles active conditions of heel pain and likewise reduce the risk for reoccurrence. The custom insole will restore body balance and prevent the plantar fascia from experiencing strain when you walk. If all standard non-invasive treatment solutions not work, other options include platelet rich plasma injections, dry needling, or surgery.
Avoid Heel Pain
• Wear the proper shoes for each activity and wear shoes that fit well
• Begin exercise slowly. Consult with your podiatrist before beginning a new exercise program.
• Avoid activities that may put constant strain on the food.
• Avoid going barefoot on all surfaces
• Lose weight, if necessary
Originally from PRO Pulse July-August 2012
By J. Mari Adad