Heel Pain

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Our entire body weight falls on our feet and one of the most affected parts is our heels.  Because of all the loads plus the different activities performed using our feet, some people suffer heel pain which is one of the most common forms of foot pain.

Heel Pain Causes

One of the most common is the heel pain plantar fasciitis.  This is due to the inflammation of plantar fascia.  This band of tissue is extended from the heel bone to the base of the toes.  On this case, patient will feel severe heel pain after a period of rest like after sleeping.  Most of the heel pain plantar fasciitis turned into heel spur when not treated properly.  On this condition a calcium deposit will form on the fascia tissue band.

Picture 1 – Heel Pain
heel pain pictures

There are cases that a person may step on a hard object such as a small stone.  In this case, there is a tendency that the fat pad on the heel may get bruise although there are cases that this may or may not look discolored.

Achilles heel pain or commonly known as Achilles Tendonitis causes heel pain when the fibrous tissue band connecting the calf muscles swell and gets inflamed.  This type of heel pain is due to factors like overuse of the feet and related muscles and tissues.  Being overweight and obese also gives too much weight on the Achilles tendon that further causes Achilles heel pain.

Other factors that may cause sore heel pain are arthritis and some medications that cause inflammation of the tendon.  Some people may also suffer foot heel pain due to accidents or foot injury and lack of stretching exercises.  Wearing shoes that rub or cut into the back of the heel may also be one of the culprits for back of heel pain.  The frictions between the shoes and the back of the heel may thicken the skin that will further lead to swelling. Heel pain after walking and heel pain while walking may also be caused by unsuitable footwear like high heel, shoes without arch support, heel support and heel cushion.

People with anatomical abnormalities like those who are flat footed and those who have hyper-pronated arch and frail or tight tendon and calf muscles will most likely suffer from heel pain.

Heel Pain in Children

Although heel pain is very common to adults, there are some children who may also suffer from this.  However this is not the usual heel spurs or other causes that may occur in adults.  Heel pain in children is due to the inflammation of the growth plate at the back of the heel bone.  This is medically termed as “calcaneal apophysitis”, also know as Sever’s disease.  Children between the ages of ten to fifteen years old may suffer from this disease.  In this case, children’s muscles and tendons become tight making the heel area less flexible.  Children suffering from this will have limited activities that put pressure on feet and heel joints.  It is essential that parents should be attentive to their children’s pain complaint as the severe heel pain has to be addressed properly.  Normally this disease causes micro fractures on the Achilles tendon inserts on the heel bone that further lead to severe heel pain in children.  If this happens, physical activities that use too much effort and pressure on feet should be lessen if not totally avoided.  It will also be of help to put cold compress to ease the pain.  Foot inserts or heel cushion to support your children’s feet will also of great help to avoid foot heel pain.  But the best of all is to consult a medical practitioner to avoid further implications.

Heel Pain Relief

Heel pain can be managed through some heel pain relief.  Many people used to take pain reliever to ease the burden. Some people on the other hand apply warm or cold compress on the heel area.

Heel Pain Treatment and Cure

Picture 2 – Heel Pain Picture
heel pain

Although heel pain can be relieved temporarily and in some cases is a self-limiting condition, it is still essential to know several ways for heel pain treatment and cure.  Some doctors may prescribe different medications to relax the muscles and tendons including heel pain exercises.  Other treatments may include putting on pads and straps on one’s shoes to soften the impact while walking.  Some may undergo injection therapy and physical therapy.  Others may be advised to wear night splint to stretch the plantar fascia while sleeping.  There are other patients who may undergo surgical procedures in cases that the severe heel pain keeps coming back despite of the non-surgical treatment.

Shoes for Heel Pain

There are various shoes that are custom made to treat heel pain.  These shoes have cushions, pads and elevated heels to alleviate the pain.

References:

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00159

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