If you or a loved one are experiencing pain in the heel or foot, make sure you take immediate action. Your feet are too important. Visit a Sports Medicine Doctor near or see a Foot Specialist to correct the issue
The Trouble with Heel Pain
Your feet contain a collection of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that you depend on to constantly lead your daily journeys between destinations, even if it simply to walk from one room into another. Your feet are built to handle your body weight, and you do not necessarily stop and think about how much you are relying on our feet unless you suddenly experience pain.
But once you do feel discomfort, the foot that is sore will quickly command your attention. While this could be taking place in your ankle, a toe, of the arch of your foot, a common area of pain can be your heel. If you do have heel pain – regardless of whether it is sharp, or is more of a dull ache – there are multiple reasons why this may be taking place.
Your heel bone is actually the largest of 26 bones that can be found in the human foot. and your heels absorb a pounding anytime that you walk, run, or jump. Particularly on hard surfaces. When your heel makes contact with a surface over and over again, that repetitive stress can cause a problem over time. This could result in Achilles tendonitis, a bruised bursitis, bruising, or even a fracture.
It can also cause plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis), which is a problem for many people who are experiencing heel pain. This is caused by an inflammation of the tissue that is located at the bottom of your foot and connects your toes (plantar fascia) to the heel bone. This flat band of tissue supports the arch of your foot. If too much tension is placed on this band, then a small tear can develop in the fascia.
There are several factors that can increase your chances of experiencing plantar fasciitis, which is most common for people between the ages of 40 and 60. Anyone who exercises frequently might also be more susceptible to dealing with this problem, regardless of your age. Especially if you are involved in activities that place stress on your heel and the tissue that is attached to it. This includes long distance running, ballistic training that involves jumping with weights, and either aerobic or ballet dancing.
Plantar fasciitis creates a stabbing pain in your foot and is often felt when you take your first steps in the morning. It can also occur after you have been sitting for a long period of time. You may not necessarily feel pain when you are exercising, but the pain can increase once you have finished.
If you are flat footed, have a high arch, or develop an abnormal pattern of walking, then this will also add stress to the fascia, and place you at greater risk. Excess weight, or having a job that forces you to stay on your feet can also cause plantar fasciitis to occur.
If you are having discomfort in your heel that is similar to what has been described, then your doctor can determine if it is plantar fasciitis that is causing you to experience the pain. He or she will likely check how you walk, and how you stand, then review your symptoms, your health history, and also discuss what activities you are involved in. It is possible that x-rays will also be taken in order to help identify the cause. Once this is known, it will be much easier to treat the problem and take steps to prevent it from reoccurring.
Your doctor might prescribe rest, or recommend a reduction in your activities. He or she could also advise you to use ice in order to reduce any pain and swelling. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil), or naproxen (Aleve) could be recommended. There are also stretching exercises that can help plantar fasciitis.
But even though plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, there are other reasons why you may experience discomfort in your foot. It can also take place as the result of an injury, or from an inflammation which involves your bones, tendons, or ligaments in the foot. Pain discomfort can also occur from overuse, which can lead to inflammation. Finally, arthritis is also a frequent cause of foot pain.
Here is a list of the most reasons that people experience foot pain:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Avulsion fracture
- Bone spurs
- Broken ankle/broken foot
- Broken Toe
- Bursitis(joint inflammation)
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic neuropathy(nerve damage caused by diabetes)
- Gout(arthritis related to excess uric acid)
- Haglund’s deformity
- Hammertoe and mallet toe
- High heels or poorly fitting shoes
- Ingrown toenails
- Morton’s neuroma
- Osteoarthritis(disease causing the breakdown of joints)
- Osteomyelitis(a bone infection)
- Paget’s disease of bone
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Plantar fasciitis
- Plantar Warts
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Raynaud’s disease
- Reactive arthritis
- Retrocalcaneal bursitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis(inflammatory joint disease)
- Septic arthritis
- Stress fractures
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
If you are experiencing heel pain, you should not attempt to ignore it. Because if you decide to continue with your daily activities without using any form of relief or treatment, or consulting your doctor, there is a great chance that you will change the way that you walk as a result of the discomfort. If this occurs, you could cause other problems for yourself due to the unnatural movement that comes from compensating for the pain. You also are at risk of losing your balance, which could lead to an unwanted fall.
A much better plan of action is to check with your doctor once you are experiencing heel pain. You should also make sure that you are always wearing shoes that provide support and a proper fit for your feet. This is also extremely important if you engage in physical activity. Stretching before a healthy diet, exercising is also essential. Finally, you can help yourself by making sure that you stick to a nutritious diet, and maintain a healthy weight.