prevent foot pain and heel pain

What causes heel pain?

In Conditions, Foot Facts, Wellness by Alnoor Ladhani, Chiropodist

heel painThere are a couple common conditions that cause heel pain, and a number of ways you can avoid it.

One of the most common conditions that causes heel pain is plantar fasciitis.  We’ve written about it before in our post called “Common Sports Injuries to the Foot”.  With plantar fasciitis, the pain is located under the heel.

A condition called “heel spurs” is often thought to cause heel pain, but often, it’s actually a case of plantar fasciitis that is to blame.  A heel spur is a calcium deposit that forms where the fascia connects with your heel bone.  This can happen if you have plantar fasciitis for a long time, but often the heel spur itself isn’t causing the pain and there is usually no need for treatments such as surgery.

The other most common cause of heel pain is Achilles tendonitis.  Your Achilles tendon is at the back of your heel, and attaches it to your calf muscles.  If your heel pain is behind your heel, it is likely a case of Achilles tendonitis.

In some cases, Achilles tendonitis can lead to a tear in the tendon, and may need surgery to repair.

How to avoid heel pain

Conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis can develop in a number of avoidable ways.

One of the biggest culprits for injuries to the heel is wearing shoes that are not suitable for the activity you are doing.  Your shoes should provide the support and cushioning your feet need for the task you are asking them to do.  Are you doing a lot of walking, running, or jumping?  You need shoes that keep your feet from twisting or moving in the wrong direction, and provides enough shock absorption.

If your feet are weak or unstable, you may begin to notice the first signs of heel pain.  If you are proactive, you can stop the pain from getting worse and make healing a lot faster.  Try our foot test to test your foot strength and stability.

See a chiropodist and explain your symptoms.  We can suggest some simple stretches and exercises to help relieve the pain and strengthen your feet.  We can also assess the bio-mechanics of your feet and determine if you need orthotic inserts.

Other treatments of heel pain

Aside from recommending the right shoes or prescribing orthotics, your chiropodist might treat your heel pain with:

  • Cryotherapy (using cold to reduce inflammation and pain)
  • Laser surgery
  • Shockwave therapy

If you have heel pain, we can help you find relief and avoid future injury.  Call Step by Step today for an assessment.