Heel Pain and its common factors
Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with an inflammation of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot. The inflammation of this arch area is called plantar fasciitis.
The inflammation may be aggravated by shoes that lack appropriate support, especially in the arch area, and by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies an athletic lifestyle.
How the wrong Shoe can exacerbate Foot Pain.
Wearing the wrong type of shoe for your current activity can dramatically increase the chances of injury.
Constant use of an Ill-fitting shoe can aggravate existing problems such as pain or arthritis in your hips, knees, ankles or feet.
Even in low energy activity like standing around for long periods of time in the ill-fitting shoes can lead to pain and stress on the joints and bones in your feet
Shoes that don’t provide proper ache support can lead to the aches rolling inwards reducing shock absorption and leading to stress and pain on the joints
How the wrong shoe can have a negative impact on how you walk, the movement of your feet including the amount of pressure is applied to aches, the ball of foot and the big toe as you lift and plant your foot with each step.
The constant use of thongs, flats and heels that lack support on a daily basis can lead to ongoing stress and pain.
Overcoming the ProblemIf pain and other symptoms of inflammation – redness, swelling, heat-persist, you should limit normal daily activities and see one of our podiatrists. Depending on the symptoms and presentations we may conduct an x-ray or ultrasound to look for heel spurs, fractures or any soft tissue abnormality such as excessive thickening of the plantar fascia.
Early treatment might involve exercise and shoe recommendations, taping or strapping and anti-inflammatory medications (such as Voltaren or aspirin). Taping or strapping supports the foot, placing stressed muscles in a restful state and preventing stretching of the plantar fascia. Other physical therapies may also be used, including massage, dry needling icepacks and ultrasounds. These treatments will effectively treat the majority of heel and arch pain without the need for surgery.
Only relatively few cases of heel pain require further intervention such as cortisone injections, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections, shock wave therapy, iontophoresis, or in very rare cases surgery. We can provide you with all the information you will need, and guide you on the best choice of treatment for your condition.
If required, surgery is usually for the removal of a spur, but also may involve the release of the plantar fascia, removal of a bursa, or a removal of a neuroma or other soft-tissue growth.
Your recovery will depend on the cause of your heel pain and your individual health. If you are suffering from a heel spur or plantar fasciitis, it normally takes about six or eight weeks for a healthy individual to fully recover. That is when the injured area is fully rested or properly strapped.
Stretching and exercise
Prepare properly before exercising, warm-up before running or walking and do some stretching exercises afterward.
Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities. If overweight, try non-weight-bearing activities such as swimming or cycling.