Heel Pain Got You Down?


Heel pain
.  We have all had it at one point in time, and it can be a pain (no pun intended) to get rid of it.  Many people do not understand how or why their heel hurts.  There are many conditions out there that result in heel pain.  Today we will discuss one of those conditions and provide treatment suggestions.

 

Plantar Fasciitis

On the bottom of your foot there is a strong and dense structure of connective tissue known as your plantar fascia.  It extends from the base of the heel to the beginning of your toes.  The plantar fascia serves two purposes: it provides static support for your arch and it acts as a shock absorber for your foot.  During high-impact activities, the plantar fascia can suffer micro trauma from repetitive heel strikes.  When this happens, patients will feel pain at the base of heel.  Those who have flat feet or pronated feet, tight calf muscles, or abnormally high, rigid arches may be predisposed to plantar fasciitis.  It is commonly seen in sports/activities that have repetitive impact such as running, long distance walkers, dancers, tennis players, or even those who are on their feet for extended amounts of time daily.  The pain can vary, but most active individuals will find the pain to be very debilitating.


The good news is that plantar fasciitis can be resolved by conservative treatments.  The bad news is that it can sometimes take months before the symptoms are fully resolved.  Should you have plantar fasciitis, here are some treatments that you will find to be beneficial:

 

Stretch your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon daily.

 

Plantar fascia stretch – Sit with your knees bent and your heel flat on the floor or table.  Use your hand to bend your toes up toward the ceiling.  Progress into dorsiflexing your ankle and then bending your toes upwards.  Hold this position for about 10 seconds.  Repeat 10 times. (This is a good one to do before you get out of bed in the morning)

Seated plantar fascia stretch – While seated, place your toes into hyperextension.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat 10 times.

Plantar fascia stretch on wall – Place your heel on the floor and your toes on a wall.  Lean forward.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat 10 times.

Calf stretch – Using a step, stand with your toes just on the end of the step with your heels hanging off.  Lower your heels while keeping your knees straight.  Hold 30 seconds.  Repeat 10 times.  Repeat stretch with your knees bent.


Change work out shoes regularly.  Shoes will break down over time.  If you have poor biomechanics, your shoes will begin to show the abnormalities.  Shoes are generally made with proper support, but usage wears down the support.  By changing your shoes regularly, you can get the support you need.

 

Use cushioned heel inserts or orthotics.  Heel inserts and orthotics have been shown to provide proper mechanics of the foot.  I would recommend trying heel cushions first.  They are available at any drug store and most grocery stores.  They are relatively inexpensive, and they will help with the
Plantar Fasciitis pain
.  If the heel cushions do not work, I would try orthotics.  They can be custom made or off the shelf.  Each individual is different, so find the pair that works for you.  Just remember to buy multiple pairs, or switch them from one pair of shoes to others.

 

Ice massage.  This works wonders, and it is very simple to do.  One of the most beneficial ways to do this is to fill a plastic bottle with water and freeze it.  Take the frozen bottle and roll the bottom of your foot over it for approximately 5-7 minutes.  It may hurt at first, but as your foot gets cold it will feel great.  Please be careful not to hurt yourself from prolonged periods of cold!!

 

Use a night splint.  A night splint is a device that keeps your ankle dorsiflexed and your toes extended while you sleep.  During the night, your foot can spend hours in a position that causes pain.  This is why you may have a lot of pain when you first walk in the morning.  Wearing a night splint will keep your foot in a comfortable position that will decrease your pain in the morning.  They can be purchased from pharmacies that have orthopedic supplies, or you can find them online as well.  They range from about $30-$60, but it may be worth it.

And finally….

 

Take some time to rest.  It is something that can be very hard for some to do, but it is very important.  Time will heal almost everything.  Allow your body the proper amount of time to heal.  In the meantime, there are plenty of others ways that you can be active without being on your feet.

 

I hope this helps!  Next time I will discuss another common reason for
heel pain
.  Until next time.

 

Corey H

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    This post is very informative.  It is very interesting post and i really like it. I am agreed that heal pain is very painful. Anyway this is my first visit on this site and i think your blog is cool.

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    I am now following the tips you post.  I will do it everyday just to cure this heel pain.  Thanks for sharing.  Keep it up.