Do you wake up in the morning feeling a stabbing pain in your heel with your first steps out of bed? You’re not alone! Every day thousands of Americans suffer from this condition. Heel pain is by far the most common complaint encountered by podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons in the USA.
Aching heels can truly affect your lifestyle and disrupt essential activities to a large extent even preventing you from playing sports or simply going for a walk.
This website is dedicated to helping you understand this common condition and find ways to provide you with effective heel pain relief and prevent it from re-occurring.
Heel pain symptoms
Typically a sharp pain is felt in one or both heels when body weight is applied to the heels, especially after long hours of rest. For example, when getting out of bed in the morning or after sitting for a while. The initial stabbing pain will subside with walking and usually it will turn into a dull ache. (Read more..)
What causes heel pain?
There are a number of causes for heel pain to occur including medical conditions such as Tarsal Tunnel syndrome, Paget’s Disease or stress fractures. By far the most common cause of heel pain is inflammation of the plantar fascia – the band of tissue that runs under the foot from the toes to the heel bone. Due to over-pronation (rolling inwards of the foot) the ligaments under the foot are being overly stretched, causing pain and inflammation. (Read more..)
Heel pain treatment options
Nowadays a variety of treatment solutions is available to provide short and long term pain relief. However, the very first step towards treating heel pain should begin by avoiding all sort of pressure or tension on the inflamed area. Activities like jogging, running, walking for long distances etc should be avoided, giving your feet ample of rest. Apply ice packs periodically. You could consider taking anti-inflammatory medications, as well.
Recent studies indicate that self-treatment with specific exercises and arch supports to be very effective, thereby eliminating the need for surgery or expensive medical treatment. (Read more..)
How orthotics can provide heel pain relief
Orthotic (corrective) insoles can treat heel pain by correcting one of its major causes: over-pronation. Orthotics support the foot arches and control over-pronation, thereby releasing the stress and tension placed on the plantar fascia ligament and thus help in countering the very cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Orthotic insoles ensure that your body weight is evenly spread all over the foot placing less weight on the affected heels. As shown in various medical studies, foot orthotics can be very useful in the treatment of heel pain, especially when combined with special heel pain exercises. (Read more..)
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced: PLAN-tar fashee-EYE-tiss) is latin for inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue band that runs along the arch of the foot. It is the most common cause of heel pain and heel spurs. Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia ligament is overused or overstretched. The constant wear and tear of the plantar fascia results in intense pain and discomfort. (Read more..)
Heel spurs explained
A heel spur is a pointed bony growth of the heel bone (Latin: Calcaneus). Heel spurs extend from the calcaneal bone penetrating into the soft tissues covering the bottom of the foot . Heel spurs can be diagnosed through X-Ray examination. With constant pressure placed over the plantar fascia, the ligament pulls away from the heel bone leading to the development of a bony growth on the calcaneus (heel bone) – the heel spur. (Read more..)
Other useful resources:
- Wikipedia: Plantar Fasciitis
- American Podiatric Medical Association
- American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society