Heel pain

Heel Pain | Foot Health | Patients | APMA

Heel pain

The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot, which also has 33 joints and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. all bones, it is subject to outside influences that can affect its integrity and its ability to keep us on our feet. Heel pain, sometimes disabling, can occur in the front, back, or bottom of the heel.

Causes

Heel pain has many causes. Heel pain is generally the result of faulty biomechanics (walking gait abnormalities) that place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues that attach to it.

The stress may also result from injury, or a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing poorly constructed footwear (such as flimsy flip-flops); or being overweight.

Common causes of heel pain include:

Heel Spurs: A bony growth on the underside of the heel bone. The spur, visible by X-ray, appears as a protrusion that can extend forward as much as half an inch. When there is no indication of bone enlargement, the condition is sometimes referred to as “heel spur syndrome.

” Heel spurs result from strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot, by stretching of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot, and by repeated tearing away of the lining or membrane that covers the heel bone.

These conditions may result from biomechanical imbalance, running or jogging, improperly fitted or excessively worn shoes, or obesity.

Plantar Fasciitis: Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of fibrous connective tissue (fascia) running along the bottom (plantar surface) of the foot, from the heel to the ball of the foot. It is common among athletes who run and jump a lot, and it can be quite painful.

The condition occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, causing the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length; this leads to inflammation, pain, and possibly the growth of a bone spur where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. 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.

Resting provides only temporary relief. When you resume walking, particularly after a night's sleep, you may experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel. As you walk, the heel pain may lessen or even disappear, but that may be just a false sense of relief. The pain often returns after prolonged rest or extensive walking.

Excessive Pronation: Heel pain sometimes results from excessive pronation. Pronation is the normal flexible motion and flattening of the arch of the foot that allows it to adapt to ground surfaces and absorb shock in the normal walking pattern.

As you walk, the heel contacts the ground first; the weight shifts first to the outside of the foot, then moves toward the big toe.

The arch rises, the foot generally rolls upward and outward, becoming rigid and stable in order to lift the body and move it forward.

Excessive pronation—excessive inward motion—can create an abnormal amount of stretching and pulling on the ligaments and tendons attaching to the bottom back of the heel bone. Excessive pronation may also contribute to injury to the hip, knee, and lower back.

Achilles Tendinitis: Pain at the back of the heel is associated with Achilles tendinitis, which is inflammation of the Achilles tendon as it runs behind the ankle and inserts on the back surface of the heel bone. It is common among people who run and walk a lot and have tight tendons.

The condition occurs when the tendon is strained over time, causing the fibers to tear or stretch along its length, or at its insertion on to the heel bone. This leads to inflammation, pain, and the possible growth of a bone spur on the back of the heel bone.

The inflammation is aggravated by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies an active lifestyle and certain activities that strain an already tight tendon.

Other possible causes of heel pain include:

  • rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis, including gout, which usually manifests itself in the big toe joint;
  • an inflamed bursa (bursitis), a small, irritated sac of fluid; a neuroma (a nerve growth); or other soft-tissue growth. Such heel pain may be associated with a heel spur or may mimic the pain of a heel spur;
  • Haglund's deformity (“pump bump”), a bone enlargement at the back of the heel bone in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone. This sometimes painful deformity generally is the result of bursitis caused by pressure against the shoe and can be aggravated by the height or stitching of a heel counter of a particular shoe;
  • a bone bruise or contusion, which is an inflammation of the tissues that cover the heel bone. A bone bruise is a sharply painful injury caused by the direct impact of a hard object or surface on the foot.

When to Visit a Podiatrist

If pain and other symptoms of inflammation—redness, swelling, heat—persist, limit normal daily activities and contact a doctor of podiatric medicine.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The podiatric physician will examine the area and may perform diagnostic X-rays to rule out problems of the bone.

Early treatment might involve oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication, exercise and shoe recommendations, taping or strapping, or use of shoe inserts or orthotic devices. Taping or strapping supports the foot, placing stressed muscles and tendons in a physiologically restful state. Physical therapy may be used in conjunction with such treatments.

A functional orthotic device may be prescribed for correcting biomechanical imbalance, controlling excessive pronation, and supporting the ligaments and tendons attaching to the heel bone. It will effectively treat the majority of heel and arch pain without the need for surgery.

Only a relatively few cases of heel pain require more advanced treatments or surgery. If surgery is necessary, it may involve the release of the plantar fascia, removal of a spur, removal of a bursa, or removal of a neuroma or other soft-tissue growth.

Prevention

A variety of steps can be taken to avoid heel pain and accompanying afflictions:

  • Wear shoes that fit well—front, back, and sides—and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel counters
  • Wear the proper shoes for each activity
  • Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
  • Prepare properly before exercising. Warm up and do stretching exercises before and after running.
  • Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
  • Don't underestimate your body's need for rest and good nutrition
  • If obese, lose weight

Source: https://www.apma.org/heelpain

Causes of Foot Pain

Heel pain

Feet. They carry you from here to there every day. But you may not think much about them until they hurt. And when they do, you want relief. To get the right treatment, you need to know the problem. The first thing to consider is where your pain is located.

If your pain is in your heel, you may have plantar fasciitis. That’s an irritation or inflammation of the band of tough tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. Usually, it hurts the worst in the morning when you’re getting bed. You can feel it in your heel or in your arch.

To treat it:

  • Rest your foot.
  • Do heel and foot muscle stretches.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Wear shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole.

Heel spurs are another source of foot pain. These are abnormal growths of bone on the bottom of your heel.

You can get them from wearing the wrong shoes or from an abnormal walk or posture, or even from activities running. The spurs may hurt while you’re walking or standing.

Lots of people have them, but most don’t have pain. People with flat feet or high arches are more ly to have painful heel spurs.

To treat them:

  • Wear a cutout heel pad.
  • Use a custom-made insert (called an orthotic) worn in the shoe.
  • Wear shoes that fit well and have shock-absorbing soles.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Rest your foot.
  • Try physical therapy.
  • If you still have pain, ask your doctor about medical procedures.

A stone bruise is a deep bruise of the fat pad of the heel or ball of the foot. It’s often from an impact injury, but it can also happen after stepping on a hard object. The pain feels you’re walking on a pebble. It will gradually go away on its own.

In the meantime:

  • Rest your foot.
  • Ice the area.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers.

A heel fracture is usually a high-impact injury such as from a fall or car accident. Your heel bone may not just break, it could also shatter. Heel pain, bruising, swelling, or trouble walking are the main symptoms.

To treat it:

  • Don’t put pressure on the heel. You can use crutches.
  • Protect the heel with pads.
  • Wear a splint or cast to protect the heel bone.
  • Ask your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers.
  • Try physical therapy.
  • If you’re still in pain, ask your doctor about surgery.

Metatarsalgia. You feel this pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot. Ill-fitting shoes are the usual cause. But you might get it from strenuous activity, such as running or jumping. It’s sometimes called a stone bruise as well.

To treat it:

  • Take pain relievers.
  • Ice and rest your foot.
  • Wear comfortable footwear.
  • Try shoe inserts to relieve pressure on the ball of your foot.

Morton's neuroma causes a thickening of the tissue around the nerves between the bases of the toes (usually between the third and fourth toes). You typically feel pain, odd sensations or numbness over the ball of your foot. Women have it more often. It can be a result of wearing high heels or tight shoes.

To treat it:

  • Wear shoe inserts to reduce pressure on the nerve.
  • Get a steroid or other injection into the foot.
  • Take pain relievers.
  • Don’t wear high-heeled shoes or ones with a narrow toe box.
  • Avoid activities that put pressure on the neuroma.
  • Ask your doctor about surgery.

Sesamoiditis. Near your big toe are 2 bones that are connected only by tendons. They’re called sesamoids. You get sesamoiditis when the tendons surrounding them become injured and inflamed. It’s a form of tendinitis, common with runners and ballet dancers.

To treat it:

  • Rest your feet.
  • Ice where it hurts.
  • Wear a foot pad under the toe in a comfortable shoe.
  • Tape the big toe to immobilize the joint and allow for healing.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes.
  • Ask your doctor about steroid injections.

Plantar fasciitis. This is the most common cause of arch pain. Plantar fasciitis can affect the heel, arch, or both. Treatment is the same regardless of the location. For persistent plantar fasciitis, an injection with a mixture of a steroid and local anesthetic can be helpful.

Fallen arches , or flat feet, happen when the arches of the feet flatten out (often when standing or walking), causing foot pain and other problems. Flat feet can be treated with shoe inserts, shoe adjustments, rest, ice, using a walking cane or brace, or physical therapy. Sometimes surgery is necessary.

Gout , which is a form of arthritis, can causes pain in the toes. Crystals collect in toe joints, causing severe pain and swelling. The big toe is often affected.

To treat it:

A bunion is a bony bulge along the edge of the foot, next to the base of the big toe. It's associated with misalignment of the first toe joint.

Anyone can get them, especially if they wear ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes. It often shows up as people age. People with bunions often also have hammertoes as well.

Try changing to more comfortable shoes or wearing shoe inserts. If you’re still in pain, your doctor may suggest surgery.

A hammertoe is when your second, third, or fourth toe bends at the middle joint, creating a hammer- appearance. It can come from a muscle imbalance, but it can also be brought on by wearing ill-fitting shoes.

Your doctor will ly recommend you wear shoes with a wide, deep toe bed. She may also give you exercises to stretch your toe muscles. If you still have problems, you can talk to your doctor about surgery.

Claw toe is when your toe points down or up and is unable to straighten. It’s often the result of nerve damage from diseases diabetes or alcoholism, which weakens the muscles in your foot. Without special footwear to accommodate the claw toe, you may develop irritation and calluses.

To treat it:

  • Change to better-fitting footwear. Avoid high heels and tight shoes.
  • Do stretches for your toes and toe joints.
  • Try shoe inserts.
  • Ask your doctor about surgery.

An ingrown toenailis when skin on one or both sides of a toenail grow over the nail. It can be painful and may lead to infections.

To treat it:

  • Soak the foot in warm water four times a day.
  • Once daily, wedge a piece of gauze between the nail and wet skin.
  • If these treatments don’t work, see a doctor.

Turf toe is when you feel pain at the base of the big toe. It’s an overuse injury usually caused by strain. Turf toe may also be a form of sesamoiditis or a sesamoid fracture.

A toe sprain may happen when you jam or stub your toe, damaging the tendon or soft tissues of the toe. If you don’t have a fracture, the pain and swelling should go away within days.

A toe fracture, or broken bone, can happen in any of the bones of the toes. Minor fractures may only require rest, ice, and pain relievers. Serious fractures may need surgery. Go to a doctor to be sure.

Hallux rigidus (stiff big toe) is a type of arthritis at the base of the big toe. Symptoms are pain and stiffness of the joint that worsens over time. Treatment can include pain relievers and stretching exercises. Surgery may be needed in some cases.

Corns and calluses. Corns are thick buildups of tough skin on a point of irritation or pressure on the foot or toe. They sometimes look horns. Calluses are wider areas of tough skin buildup on the toes or feet. They happen as a result of irritation or pressure. Calluses and corns are generally caused by poor-fitting footwear.

To treat them:

  • Wear better-fitting shoes.
  • Soak the foot and use a pumice stone to wear down the extra skin.

A sesamoid fracture is a break in the small bones (sesamoids) that are embedded in tendons attached to the big toe. Pain in and around the big toe is the main symptom.

To treat it:

  • Rest, ice, and elevate your foot.
  • Wear stiff-soled shoes or foot pads to relieve pressure.
  • Take pain relievers.
  • If you’re still in pain, talk to your doctor.

The outer edge of your foot, the fifth metatarsal bone, is a commonly broken bone in the foot. Pain, swelling, and bruising along the outer foot edge after an injury are symptoms. If you think you may have broken a bone, see a doctor and have an X-ray.

To treat it:

  • Take pain relievers.
  • Rest, ice, and elevate your foot.
  • Don’t walk on it.
  • Ask your doctor if surgery is necessary.
  • A cast may be necessary in some circumstances.

Neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet, is most often caused by diabetes. The pain can be burning, stinging, or feel electricity. It can happen anywhere in the feet. Ask your doctor about pain relief options and ways to prevent further worsening.

Tendinitis is inflammation and irritation of tendons, the bands attaching muscles to bones. Tendons run along all the surfaces of the foot and can cause foot pain in many different locations.

To treat it:

  • Rest your foot.
  • Take pain relievers.
  • Steroid injections can help.
  • Surgery is rarely needed.

SOURCES:
 

Canale, S. Campbell's Operative Orthopedics, Mosby, 2008.

Goldman, L. Cecil Medicine, Saunders Elsevier, 2008.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. Knee Pain: From Types to Treatments

Source: https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/foot-pain-causes-and-treatments

Diagnosis of Heel Pain

Heel pain

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Source: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/1015/p909.html

HEEL PAIN

Heel pain

Every mile you walk puts tons of stress on each foot. Your feet can handle a heavy load, but too much stress pushes them over their limits. When you pound your feet on hard surfaces playing sports or wear shoes that irritate sensitive tissues, you may develop heel pain, the most common problem affecting the foot and ankle.

A sore heel will usually get better on its own without surgery if you give it enough rest. However, many people ignore the early signs of heel pain and keep on doing the activities that caused it. When you continue to walk on a sore heel, it will only get worse and could become a chronic condition leading to more problems.

Diagnosis

Heel pain can have many causes. If your heel hurts, see your primary care doctor or foot and ankle orthopaedic specialist right away to determine the cause and get treatment. Tell him or her exactly where you have pain and how long you've had it.

Your doctor will examine your heel, looking and feeling for signs of tenderness and swelling. You may be asked to walk, stand on one foot, or do other physical tests that help your doctor pinpoint the cause of your sore heel.

Conditions that cause heel pain generally fall into two main categories: pain beneath the heel and pain behind the heel. 

Pain Beneath the Heel

If it hurts under your heel, you may have one or more conditions that inflame the tissues on the bottom of your foot:

  • Stone bruise: When you step on a hard object such as a rock or stone, you can bruise the fat pad on the underside of your heel. It may or may not look discolored. The pain goes away gradually with rest.
  • Plantar fasciitis(subcalcaneal pain): Doing too much running or jumping can inflame the tissue band (fascia) connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes. The pain is centered under your heel and may be mild at first but flares up when you take your first steps after resting overnight. You may need to do special exercises, take medication to reduce swelling and wear a heel pad in your shoe.
  • Heel spur: When plantar fasciitis continues for a long time, a heel spur (calcium deposit) may form where the fascia tissue band connects to your heel bone. Your doctor may take an X-ray to see the bony protrusion. Treatment usually is the same as for plantar fasciitis: rest until the pain subsides, do special stretching exercises and wear heel pad shoe inserts. Having a heel spur may not cause pain and should not be operated on unless symptoms become chronic.  


Pain Behind the Heel

If you have pain behind your heel, you may have inflamed the area where the Achilles tendon inserts into the heel bone (retrocalcaneal bursitis). People often get this by running too much or wearing shoes that rub or cut into the back of the heel. Pain behind the heel may build slowly over time, causing the skin to thicken, become red and swell.

You might develop a bump on the back of your heel that feels tender and warm to the touch. The pain might flare up when you first start an activity after resting. It often hurts too much to wear normal shoes. You may need an X-ray to see if you also have a bone spur.

Treatment

Treatment includes resting from the activities that caused the problem, doing certain stretching exercises, using pain medication, and wearing open-back shoes.

  • Your doctor may want you to use a 3/8″ or 1/2″ heel insert.
  • Stretch your Achilles tendon by leaning forward against a wall with your foot flat on the floor and heel elevated with the insert.
  • Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and swelling.
  • Consider placing ice on the back of the heel to reduce inflammation.

 

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) offers information on this site as an educational service. The content of FootCareMD, including text, images, and graphics, is for informational purposes only.

The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses or treatments.

If you need medical advice, use the “Find a Surgeon” search to locate a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon in your area.

Source: https://www.footcaremd.org/conditions-treatments/heel/heel-pain

Heel pain: Causes, prevention, and treatments

Heel pain

  • Causes
  • Treatment
  • Exercises
  • Home remedies
  • Prevention
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis

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Heel pain is a common foot problem. Pain usually occurs under the heel or just behind it, where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone. Sometimes it can affect the side of the heel.

Pain that occurs under the heel is known as plantar fasciitis. This is the most common cause of heel pain.

Pain behind the heel is Achilles tendinitis. Pain can also affect the inner or outer side of the heel and foot.

In most cases, pain is not caused by an injury. At first, it is usually mild, but it can become severe and sometimes disabling. It usually disappears without treatment, but sometimes it can persist and become chronic.

Causes include arthritis, infection, an autoimmune problem, trauma, or a neurological problem.

  • Heel pain is usually felt either under the heel or just behind it.
  • Pain typically starts gradually, with no injury to the affected area. It is often triggered by wearing a flat shoe.
  • In most cases the pain is under the foot, towards the front of the heel.
  • Home care such as rest, ice, proper-fitting footwear and foot supports are often enough to ease heel pain.

Heel pain is not usually caused by a single injury, such as a twist or fall, but from repetitive stress and pounding of the heel.

Common causes include:

Plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the plantar fascia: The plantar fascia is a strong bowstring- ligament that runs from the calcaneum (heel bone) to the tip of the foot.

This type of pain often happens because of the way the foot is made, for example, if the arches are especially high or low.

When the plantar fascia is stretched too far, its soft tissue fibers become inflamed. This usually happens where it attaches to the heel bone, but sometimes it affects the middle of the foot. Pain is felt under the foot, especially after long periods of rest. Calf-muscle cramps may occur if the Achilles tendon tightens too.

Heel bursitis: Inflammation can occur at the back of the heel, in the bursa, a fibrous sac full of fluid. It can result from landing awkwardly or hard on the heels or from pressure from footwear. Pain may be felt deep inside the heel or at the back of the heel. Sometimes, the Achilles tendon may swell. As the day progresses, the pain usually gets worse.

Heel bumps: Also known as pump bumps, these are common in teenagers. The heel bone is not yet fully mature, and it rubs excessively, resulting in the formation of too much bone. It is often caused by having a flat foot. It can be caused by starting to wear high heels before the bone is fully mature.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome: A large nerve in the back of the foot becomes pinched or entrapped (compressed). This is a type of compression neuropathy that can occur either in the ankle or foot.

Chronic inflammation of the heel pad: This is caused either by the heel pad becoming too thin, or through heavy footsteps.

Stress fracture: This is linked to repetitive stress, strenuous exercise, sports, or heavy manual work. Runners are particularly prone to stress fracture in the metatarsal bones of the foot. It can also be caused by osteoporosis.

Severs disease: This is the most common cause of heel pain in child and teenage athletes, caused by overuse and repetitive microtrauma of the growth plates of the heel bone. It most commonly affects children aged 7 to 15 years.

Achilles tendinosis: This is also known as degenerative tendinopathy, tendonitis, tendinosis, and tendinopathy. It is a chronic condition associated with the progressive degeneration of the Achilles tendon.

Sometimes the Achilles tendon does not function properly because of multiple, minor microscopic tears of the tendon, which cannot heal and repair themselves correctly. As the Achilles tendon receives more tension than it can cope with, microscopic tears develop. Eventually, the tendon thickens, weakens, and becomes painful.

Other causes of heel pain include:

  • Achilles tendon rupture, where the tendon is torn
  • a plantar fascia tear
  • Baxter’s nerve entrapment
  • calcaneal stress fracture
  • calcaneal cysts
  • soft tissue mass
  • short flexor tendon tear
  • systemic arthritis (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
  • bone bruise
  • problems with circulation
  • poor posture when walking or running
  • bone cyst, a solitary fluid-filled cyst in a bone
  • gout, when levels of uric acid in the blood rise until urate crystals start to build up around the joints, causing inflammation and severe pain
  • neuroma, or Morton’s neuroma, when a nerve becomes swollen in the ball of the foot, commonly between the base of the second and third toes
  • osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone or bone marrow leads to inflammation of the bone

Osteomyelitis may result from an injury or surgery, or the infection may get into bone tissue from the bloodstream. Symptoms include deep pain and muscle spasms in the inflammation area, as well as fever.

Peripheral neuropathy involves nerve damage, and it can lead to pain and numbness in the hands and feet.

It can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic disorders, and exposure to toxins. Diabetes is a common cause.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive and disabling auto-immune condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, the tissue around the joints, and other organs in the human body.

It usually affects the joints in the hands and feet first, but any joint may become affected.

Side foot pain

Lateral foot pain affects the outside of the heel or foot, and medial foot pain affects the inside edge.

These may result from:

  • a stress fracture
  • a sprain
  • cuboid syndrome, when a small bone in the foot becomes dislocated arthritis
  • peroneal tendonitis, when repeated tension irritates the tendon
  • tarsal coalition, a congenital foot problem
  • bunions, corns, and callouses
  • posterior tibial tendonitis, which results from stress and overuse

Most causes of foot pain are mechanical, related to strain, injury, or bone structure problems.

Most people recover with conservative treatments within months.

Treatment options include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce pain and swelling.
  • Corticosteroid injections may work if NSAIDs are not effective, but these should be used with caution, because long-term use can have adverse effects.
  • Physical therapy can teach exercises that stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and strengthen the lower leg muscles, resulting in better stabilization of the ankle and heel.
  • Athletic taping gives the bottom of the foot better support.
  • Orthotics, or assistive devices, and insoles can help correct foot faults and cushion and support the arch during the healing process.

Different brands are available to buy on Amazon.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy aims sound waves at the affected area to encourage and stimulate healing. This is only recommended for long-term cases that have not responded to conservative therapy.

Surgery

If nothing else works, a surgeon may detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. There is a risk that this may weaken the arch of the foot.

Night splints

A night splint may be fitted to the calf and foot and kept on during sleep. This holds the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight and stretches them.

These are available to buy online, but it is best to consult a medical professional before using them.

Treatment for heel bursitis

If it is possible to distinguish heel bursitis as a separate condition from plantar fasciitis, an effective treatment may be to use a cushioning insole or heel cup to limit the movements that are causing the problem.

Rest is also recommended, and a steroid injection may be needed.

Treatment for heel bumps

Inflammation behind the heel may be relieved with ice, compression and a change of footwear.

Achilles pads, tortoise and heel grip pads may offer temporary relief.

Cortisone injections may help with pain.

For most people, treatment will get rid of heel pain within 6 weeks. However, in severe cases, and if pain persists, surgery may be necessary.

Share on PinterestCalf stretches can help prevent or treat heel pain.

Exercises to stretch the calf muscles may help.

Here are some examples:

  • Sit in a chair, hold the leg out straight, and flex and extend at the ankle joint. Repeat 10 times on each foot.
  • Stand facing a wall. Place the foot that has the heel pain behind the other foot. Keep the front knee bent and the back leg straight, with the foot on the ground. Pull the hips forward toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the calf of the lower leg. Repeat 10 times. If there is pain in both heels, stretch both calves.

Home care can help get rid of heel pain that is not severe.

This includes:

Rest: Avoid running or standing for long periods, walking on hard surfaces, and any activities that may stress the heels.

Ice: Place an ice-pack wrapped in cloth on the affected area for about 15 minutes, but not directly onto the skin.

Footwear: Shoes that fit well and provide good support are crucial, especially for athletes.

Foot supports: Wedges and heel cups can help relieve symptoms.

Some recent studies have suggested that Botox may help treat plantar fasciitis.

Another study has suggested that delivering a standard dose of external beam radiation therapy, similar to that used in an x ray or in cancer treatment, may help.

Prevention of heel pain involves reducing the stress on that part of the body.

Tips include:

  • wearing shoes when on hard ground, and not going barefoot
  • maintaining a healthy body weight to reduce stress on the heels
  • choosing footwear with heels made of material that can absorb some stress, or using inserted heel pads
  • ensure shoes fit properly and do not have worn down heels or soles
  • avoid shoes that seem to trigger pain
  • rest your feet rather than standing if you are susceptible to heel pain
  • warm up properly before engaging in sports and activities that may place lots of stress on the heels
  • wear suitable sports shoes for each task

Heel pain typically starts gradually and becomes more severe. Often there is no injury to the affected area. It may be triggered by wearing a flat shoe. Flat footwear may stretch the plantar fascia until the area becomes swollen, or inflamed.

Pain may be severe, however, if there is a tear. The person may have noticed a popping sound at the time of the injury, and pain will be immediate.

Heel pain is usually felt under the foot, toward the front of the heel.

Symptoms may be worse just after getting bed in the morning, and after a period of rest during the day, and then they improve with a little activity. They may worsen again toward the end of the day.

When to see a doctor

See a doctor if you experience:

  • severe pain with swelling near the heel
  • pain, numbness or tingling in the heel, and fever
  • pain in your heel and fever
  • difficulty walking normally
  • difficulty bending the foot downward or standing on tiptoe

You should arrange to see a doctor if:

  • heel pain continues for more than a week
  • heel pain persists when you are not standing or walking

A doctor will examine the foot and ask about the pain, about how much walking and standing the person does, what type of footwear they use, and details of their medical history.

They will test the muscles, starting from the knee and look for any unusual shape or skin changes. These can help differentiate between a growth, psoriasis, and other conditions.

Squeezing the heel can help detect nerve problems, the presence of a cyst, or a stress fracture.

This may enough to make a diagnosis, but sometimes blood tests or imaging scans are needed.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common type of heel pain, but many other causes are possible. An accurate diagnosis is more ly to lead to effective treatment.

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  • Bones / Orthopedics
  • Pain / Anesthetics
  • Sports Medicine / Fitness

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/181453

Chronic Heel Pain? 4 Simple Fixes for Your Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain

If you’re dealing with chronic heel pain, one ly culprit is plantar fasciitis. It’s a common foot injury that can cause a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. It sometimes resolves on its own, but there are a few simple home treatments that also can help.

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The plantar fascia is a band ofdeep tissue that runs from your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis isdeformation or a tear of that tissue. It causes irritation, inflammation, and,eventually, pain.

Sports chiropractor Thomas Torzok, DC, says the problem typically develops over time. It also can take some time to heal — anywhere from months to a year, he says.

“The plantar fascia is not atissue with great blood supply or high metabolic activity,” he notes. “Itprobably takes years for plantar fasciitis to form to the point where you startto notice it. And, as a result, it takes some time for it to heal. Once it’sirritated, it’s pretty stubborn.”

Despite this, he says there aresome simple things you can do at home to combat the problem. But first, youneed to understand why it’s happening.

Why does my heel hurt?

Plantar fasciitis is often an overuse injury, typically from sports-relatedactivities that involve running or jumping. It also may trace backto abnormal foot mechanics or poor footwear choices, Dr. Torzok explains.

“Usually, you’ll feel pain uponinitial weight-bearing in the bottom of your foot,” he says. “Sometimes thatwill occur first thing in the morning when you wake up.”

Other factors that can increaseyour risk of developing plantar fasciitis include:

  • Age. It’s more common between the ages of 30 and 60.
  • Obesity. Additional weight can put undue stress on the plantar fascia.
  • Prolonged standing. Standing on hard surfaces for several hours or longer can damage the tissue.

What can you do for plantarfasciitis?

Simple home treatments can oftenresolve plantar fasciitis, especially if you catch it early. But it may takelonger to heal if it has worsened over time.

“Plantar fasciitis may go awayafter you stretch your foot out and walk around for a while,” Dr. Torzoksays. “But for some people, prolonged standing or sitting may aggravate itagain. It’s bearing the entire amount of your body weight, and that can lead todelayed recovery.”

Try these tips for relief:

  1. Rest and stretch. If overuse is the ly cause of your pain, rest is one key to recovery. And, it’s a good idea to couple that with daily stretching exercises. Foot exercises allow you to keep the plantar fascia from pulling and tightening up, so it’s better able to bear your weight when you get moving again.
  2. Wear proper footwear. Make sure you get a good fit and avoid flat shoes that lack support. “Find proper shoes to match your actual foot and biomechanics,” Dr. Torzok says. “Arch supports might help some people.” He also advises people not to walk barefoot around the house. “This can stress the tissue in the bottom of the foot even more. Instead, wear running shoes or sneakers — something with natural arch support — so they don’t deform that tissue and chronically stretch and irritate it,” he says.
  3. Ice your feet. Roll your foot over a frozen water bottle for 5 minutes, or hold an ice pack over the bottom of your foot for 15 minutes, three times a day. Also use the ice treatment after any strenuous activity or extended periods of standing or sitting, Dr. Torzok says.
  4. Wear a splint. For more severe cases, a night splint can brace your foot and ankle in the proper position as you sleep. “Night splints will help stretch the plantar fascia and alleviate the pain,” he says.

If the pain continues, talk toyour doctor

If home treatment isn’t working,get help, Dr. Torzok says. Your doctor can make sure the pain you’re feeling isfrom plantar fasciitis — and further advise you if it isn’t.

“That’s the tricky thing, because other factors can cause pain in the bottom of your feet,” he says. “So if you’re still in pain after working on relieving it for a few days, call your doctor.”

Source: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/chronic-heel-pain-4-simple-fixes-for-your-plantar-fasciitis/

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