What Causes Heel Pain
Heel pain is a common foot symptom that affects many people, and it can be caused by a variety of different factors. Understanding what causes heel pain is the first key step in preventing and treating it if it does occur.
The heel is a high-impact area of the foot, so, it can experience a lot of wear and tear from daily activities. Let’s discuss some of the most common causes of heel pain:
The most common cause of heel pain: Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is, by far, the most common cause of heel pain. It is characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia which is the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Individuals with plantar fasciitis will experience heel pain that is worse in the morning hours upon waking, pain in the arches, and/or swelling at the back of the heel. If you are experiencing these symptoms, we recommend visiting a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or podiatrist, so that they can diagnose the cause.
Who is at the highest risk of developing plantar fasciitis?
Overpronation is a condition in which the feet roll inwards excessively when walking or running. It is one of the most frequent causes of plantar fasciitis. Individuals with flat feet will have feet that overpronate as their arches collapse and stretch out the plantar fascia. This can lead to inflammation and pain after prolonged periods of use.
Other individuals who have an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis:
- Individuals with excess body weight
- Individuals with jobs that require long periods of standing, walking, or traversing over uneven/hard surfaces
- Individuals who wear non-supportive shoes (e.g. heels, flip flops, flat sole shoes
What can I do to treat plantar fasciitis?
To treat plantar fasciitis, we need to let the plantar fascia rest so that it can heal properly. Orthotics can be a helpful option as they are designed to provide support and cushioning to the feet. They redistribute pressure and provide additional arch support, which can ease the strain on the plantar fascia and its surrounding structures. Wearing supportive shoes, stretching, and strengthening exercises can also be used to complement the use of orthotics to expedite healing.
Other common causes of heel pain:
- Achilles tendonitis (inflammation of the Achilles tendon)
- Heel spurs and bone spurs
- Stress fracture
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Abnormal gaits
Please comment below with any questions or concerns you may have about foot pain, heel pain, or plantar fasciitis. We look forward to hearing from you! You can also reach us at docpods.com/au!