Heel PainHeel Pain is one of the most common complaints to podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons. The onset of heel pain can sometimes be a sudden discomfort, but many times is can be a progressive aching that gets worse over time. Heel pain is a more general term given to specific ailments that affect the foot, most commonly plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. If pain is ignored and treatment is avoided, conditions that affect the heel usually worsen and can significantly impact a person's daily routines and lifestyle. Luckily, you can relieve and even heal most cases of heel pain through relatively conservative treatment.
Pain in Heel can arise due to a number of factors. Most often, it does not result from a single injury, such as a fall or injured ankle. Instead, heel pain usually occurs as a result of excessive or continuous stress or repetitive pounding on the heel. In addition to the feeling of pain around the ball of the foot, swelling and bruising may also be present.
Who is most prone to Heel Pain?Often times, athletes are most prone to developing heel pain conditions. Active routines such as running and jumping can put constant strain on the heel and various muscles and ligaments throughout the foot, ankle, and calf, which can lead to significant tissue damage. In addition, other factors of a person's lifestyle, such as an occupation that regularly requires heavy lifting, and also obesity, can adversely affect the heels of the feet and lead to damage and serious pain.
There are many causes of heel pain that can contribute to everything from mild and moderate to chronic and severe heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. This condition develops when the plantar fascia ligament becomes inflamed as a result of strain that pulls the ligament from where it attaches to the heel bone, resulting in tears in the tissue. The plantar fascia ligament runs the length of the foot and when too much stress is put on it, it could become irritated as a result of unsupportive shoes, excessive running or other exercise, or sudden change in weight, such as during pregnancy where too much weight is suddenly placed on the ligament.
A Heel Spur (Heel Spurs) also contribute to heel pain. When stress is put on the plantar fascia ligament it not only can cause plantar fasciitis, but it can also cause a heel spur to form where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. This action will result in the formation of a hooked, pointed bone fragment that grows forwards from the bottom of the heel bone. The heel spur can cause severe heel pain as it digs through soft, sensitive tissue on the bottom of the foot.
In the morning, heel pain is often at its peak immediately after getting out of bed. This is because pain subsides after long periods of rest, but after sudden weight is put on the area following long periods of rest, severe heel pain can ensue. Heel pain usually goes away to some extent throughout the day as nerves and tissue adjust and become accustomed to the inflamed area.
Heel pain treatment can begin by refraining from putting any additional stress on the inflamed area. Do not run long distances or participate in any exercise that puts repetitive pounding and weight on the heel of the foot. To achieve temporary relief from heel pain, icing the inflamed area or taking anti-inflammatory medications can help to some extent. However, these methods do not provide a significant long-term relief from these specific heel pain conditions.
Although there are many different treatments available for pain, a simple orthotic is often the best way to relieve heel pain since they are cost effective and provide the best results. Our HTP orthotics for heel pain are the most recommended treatment. In almost all cases (99.7%), heel pain can be treated and completely healed by using our line of Gel Heel Pads and Heel Seats. Our HTP orthotics can give the heel of the foot the added support it needs to reduce the pain associated with the plantar fascia and around the heel of the foot. The design applies acupressure precisely where it is needed as your weight shifts, reducing and preventing heel pain while facilitating healing.
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