It is probably unsurprising to learn that some issues are more frequently experienced by patients than others. One area of the foot where issues frequently arise is the heel and there are several common root causes of heel pain. We are going to take a look at this issue so you can understand specific conditions along with heel pain treatment and prevention techniques.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
There are many different reasons heel pain might develop, but some of the common issues include:
- Plantar fasciitis –This condition happens when the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot (and connects the heel to the forefoot) sustains minor tears and becomes inflamed. A problem with this connector is the most likely reason that a patient will come see us.
- Sever’s disease – The name is deceptive—this is not actually a “disease”—but Sever’s is the source of heel pain from many adolescents, especially those who tend to be physical active. The condition is caused by a variance of growth processes between the heel bone and its connective tissues, especially the Achilles tendon.
- Heel spurs – There are many interesting processes that can happen within the human body. An example of this is the formation of bone spurs. For assorted reasons, including persistent pressure, chronic plantar fasciitis, chronic Achilles tendinitis; the body will make calcium deposits that build up over time.
- Fractures – Bone tissue can be remarkably strong—the femur is widely known to be stronger than concrete—but it is not infallible. The bones in the feet, including the calcaneus (heel bone), are not as strong as the thighbone and face tremendous force loads. A heel fracture can be rather painful and x-rays, casting or splinting might be required.
Treating Heel Pain
The specific treatment needed to take away a patient’s heel pain will depend, naturally, on the specific issue that is causing the pain. Fortunately, conservative methods have a high success rate when it comes to helping patients with many foot and ankle issues.
- The human body is remarkably adept at healing injured areas. When this process is commencing, it is important to rest in order to prevent further damage and allow the affected body part to heal completely.
- Icing is a great way to reduce both swelling and pain in the injured area. Of course, be sure to wrap the ice or ice pack in a thin towel to prevent damaging the skin!
- When heel pain is the result of tight tissues, stretches can be rather effective for improving the condition. The calf muscle, Achilles tendon, and connective tissues in the foot can all benefit from a simple stretching routine.
- Many patients who have developed foot or ankle pain, including in the heel, have done so on account of either worn-out shoes or footwear that did not fit properly in the first place. Understanding how to pick out shoes that fit correctly and knowing when to replace athletic footwear can help improve an array of foot and ankle conditions.
Heel Pain Prevention
It is our belief that the best form of treatment is preventing the issue from happening in the first place. In the case of heel pain, there are several actions you can take to achieve this, including:
- Stretching prior to physical activity or running
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Taking time to rest when you are tired or muscles are aching
- Training in properly-fitting footwear that provides ample cushioning and arch support
- Replacing worn out footwear
- Wearing shoe inserts for additional cushioning or arch support
- Running on soft, even surfaces (sloped concrete increases injury risk)
- Slowly adding mileage to your running program
First-Class Foot Care in Geneva, IL
Prairie Path Podiatry is committed to your health, so be sure to come see us when any of the common causes of heel pain strike. We will diagnose your condition and create a custom treatment plan for you. Contact our Geneva, IL podiatry office by calling (630) 845-3338 or use our online form to schedule an appointment today.