Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of Heel Pain
. The plantar fascia, a band of tough tissue connecting the heel bone to the
toes, becomes irritated or inflamed. Heel pain, worst in the morning when getting out of bed, is the most common symptom. Arch pain may also be present. Heel spurs are abnormal growths of bone on the
bottom of the heel bone that may be caused by an abnormal gait, posture or walking, inappropriate shoes, or certain activities, like running. Spurs may cause foot pain while walking or standing.
Although one in 10 people has heel spurs, only one in 20 of these people will have foot pain. Heel spurs can occur in people with plantar fasciitis, but they do not cause plantar fasciitis. People
with flat feet or high arches are more likely to have foot pain from heel spurs.
Plantar fasciitis: It is the most common cause of heel pain. In this condition, the pain is more severe in the morning but becomes less painful as the day continues. It occurs due to tiny tears in
the plantar fascia.The plantar faschia is a tissue band that connects the bottom of the heel bones to the ball of the foot and is involved in walking and running, giving spring to the step. If left
untreated, the symptoms usually worsen and can lead to problems with the knee and hip and can cause back pain due to difficulty walking. Those who frequently stand or walk throughout the day or those
who run are most likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are pain on the bottom of the heel, pain in the arch of the foot, pain that is usually worse upon arising, pain that increases over a period of months. People with
plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they?ve been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking the pain decreases, because
walking stretches the fascia. For some people the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet.
Your doctor will listen to your complaints about your heel and examine you to see what is causing the pain, and whether anything else has started it off. If the cause of your pain seems obvious, your
doctor may be happy to start treatment straight away. However, some tests may be helpful in ruling out other problems. Blood tests may be done for arthritis. An Xray will show any arthritis in the
ankle or subtalar joint, as well as any fracture or cyst in the calcaneum. (It will also show a spur if you have one, but as we know this is not the cause of the pain.) Occasionally a scan may be
used to help spot arthritis or a stress fracture.
Non Surgical Treatment
Morning Wall Stretch. Stand barefoot in front of wall, as shown. Press into wall with both hands and lean forward, feeling stretch along back of left leg and heel. Hold for 30 seconds; switch sides
and repeat. Freeze and Roll. Freeze a small water bottle. Cover it with a towel and place arch of your foot on top of it. Slowly roll bottle beneath arch of foot for about 5 minutes at a time. Switch
sides and repeat. Rub It Out. Use both thumbs to apply deep pressure along arch of the feet, heel, and calf muscles, moving slowly and evenly. Continue for 1 minute. Switch sides and repeat. If you
foot pain isn't improving or worsens after 2 weeks, a podiatrist or othopedist can prescribe additional therapies to alleviate discomfort and prevent recurrence.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (EST) is a fairly new type of non-invasive treatment. Non-invasive means it does not involve making cuts into your body. EST involves using a device to deliver
high-energy soundwaves into your heel. The soundwaves can sometimes cause pain, so a local anaesthetic may be used to numb your heel. It is claimed that EST works in two ways. It is thought to have a
"numbing" effect on the nerves that transmit pain signals to your brain, help stimulate and speed up the healing process. However, these claims have not yet been definitively proven. The National
Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance about the use of EST for treating plantar fasciitis. NICE states there are no concerns over the safety of EST, but there are
uncertainties about how effective the procedure is for treating heel pain. Some studies have reported that EST is more effective than surgery and other non-surgical treatments, while other studies
found the procedure to be no better than a placebo (sham treatment).
A variety of steps can be taken to avoid heel pain and accompanying afflictions. Wear shoes that fit well-front, back, and sides-and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel
counters. Wear the proper shoes for each activity. Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles. Prepare properly before exercising. Warm up and do stretching exercises before and after
running. Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities. Don't underestimate your body's need for rest and good nutrition. If obese, lose weight.