Causes And Treatment
The most common causes of heel pain are Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, and Heel Spurs; However, as indicated by Mayo Clinic there are other conditions which include:
•Achilles tendon rupture
•Paget’s disease of bone
•Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Heel spurs are bony fragments that extend past the heel toward the toes. These abnormalities tear through tissue and nerves and may cause sharp, acute pain. They develop as a result of consistent damage to a joint’s surface area and can be discovered with X-rays and sometimes are a sign of developing arthritis.
Achilles tendonitis is another annoyance. It is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon as a result of overuse.
To relieve this pain, you must rest your foot as much as possible. Use splints, custom insoles, and heel lifts to ease the pressure.
If you experience a sharp pain in your heel at the first step in the morning, chances are you have plantar fasciitis (plan * tar fash* ee * I * tis). “Plantar” means the bottom of the foot. The “fascia” is a long ligament type structure. “Itis” means inflammation. Plantar fasciitis is a tearing of the ligament on the bottom of the foot.
The tearing causes inflammation, and the swelling causes pain. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Many individuals with plantar fasciitis find that they hobble to the bathroom every morning because of the pain. They must grab onto the dresser or the wall to balance themselves. After fifteen minutes or so, the pain works itself out, only to come back with a vengeance at the end of the day.
Not all individuals with plantar fasciitis experience pain in the morning. Many find that they only experience heel pain at the end of the day or during certain types of activity.
Here Are Five Basic Steps You Can Take To Help Decrease Your Heel Pain; nevertheless, remember that your physician is the best source of information to
determine the correct therapy for your particular case.
1. Decrease your activity level: The more you are on your feet, the more tearing that occurs in the fascia. Tearing in the fascia leads to inflammation and more pain. Decrease your activity level for at least two weeks.
2. Try an ice massage: Freeze a sports water bottle and place it on the floor. Roll your arch over the water bottle for 20 minutes twice a day. This will help to decrease your pain once you step down.
3. Spend about 5 minutes each evening stretching the calf as described above or with the runners stretch. To help keep the calf and the bottom of the foot stretched out, try and stretch for 30 seconds 10 times a day.
The anti-inflammatory medications will also help decrease the pain.
Be careful; you don’t want to mask the pain. If the medications (prescribed by your doctor) decrease your pain enough to allow you to run, jog or walk more, you may be doing more harm than good.
4. Take anti-inflammatory medications: Anti-inflammatory medications (as prescribed by your Dr.), like naproxen or ibuprofen, will help decrease the inflammation that occurs in the fascia as a result of the tearing. The anti-inflammatory medications will also help decrease.
Rest, ice and stretch while you are taking the medications. If after two weeks you have improved, slowly start your exercise or work routine again.
5.Wear supportive shoes: This step may seem logical, but most individuals don’t realize how bad their shoes are. To test your footwear, take your shoe and flip it over. Grab the toe area and the heel and try to fold the shoe. If the shoe bends in half, then the shoe is not supportive. You should wear supportive shoes at all times. Don’t go barefoot. Get up in the morning, do your stretch and then slip your feet in a supportive slipper or clog.
Test all of your shoes. If your symptoms do not resolve, discuss the issue with your Orthopedic Doctor.
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