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What is Heel Pain?

by MASS4D® Insoles March 04, 2018

Heel pain is one of the most common types of foot pain experienced by people. While there are plenty of reasons for feeling pain in the heel region, it may help to learn about two of the most frequent causes – plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.

Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition that often causes pain at the heel bone. This pain worsens as you take the first few steps out of bed in the morning, or after resting for a long period of time. It is not unusual for the mid-curve or foot arch to be painful as well.

A heel spur refers to an abnormal bony growth, which causes pain and inflammation under the heel bone. You may feel this pain the most when you place your entire bodyweight on your feet, making it difficult for you to exercise or play any type of sports.

Heel Pain
Heel pain could be either due to plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.
Since both conditions cause heel pain, it may be confusing to determine whether you have a heel spur, plantar fasciitis, or both; this is why it is necessary to consult a qualified healthcare provider such as a podiatrist, who can examine your feet and identify the true cause of your heel pain

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Before understanding the cause of plantar fasciitis, it is useful to learn about the plantar fascia ligament in the foot. This is a thick, elastic-like band found on the bottom side of the foot.

The main function of this ligament is to support the foot arch, so it can sufficiently absorb the upward pressure resulting from the foot hitting the ground. This is important to lessen impact on the foot and to protect it from injury.

As a result of repeated stress on the ligament over time, the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, causing heel pain. This stress could be increased by factors such as obesity, ageing, foot problems, standing long hours, etc.

Plantar fasciitis is commonly linked to flat feet. When you have flat arches, the ligament is forced to stretch beyond its normal capacity each time you stand or walk. This over-stretching motion gradually damages the ligament, leading to the development of the condition.

Foot Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Better Posture and Sports Performance in One Insole     know more

How does a heel spur develop? 

Repeated strain on the heel resulting from walking, running or jumping, especially on hard surfaces, can slowly cause a bone-like growth or heel spur to form under the heel bone. This strain is made worse by wearing shoes that are either too tight or narrow, placing excess stress on the heel bone.

A flatfoot posture often triggers the formation of heel spurs because of excessive stretching of the plantar fascia ligament. This creates an inward pull at the heel bone, contributing to the development of an abnormal bony growth.

Once formed, this causes pain in the heel that can range from mild to severe. For this reason, it is highly advisable not to ignore any kind of heel pain for too long, as it may be an early symptom of the condition.

MASS4D® Insoles can help heel pain  

As with any foot condition, it is important to treat the root cause of the problem; this helps in providing long-term protection from the condition.

Foot posture problems such as flat feet contribute to the development of both plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. It is, therefore, not enough to treat only the symptoms of these conditions while avoiding the real issue – flat arches.

Treatment plans often involve rest, ice therapy, foot massages and the use of pain medications. After sufficient healing has occurred, it would be a good idea to practice stretching and strengthening exercises for boosting the strength of flattened arches.

Additionally, wearing foot orthotics for heel pain can provide the type of support needed to regulate improper foot movement. These insoles also help prevent the weakened arch from collapsing further, which removes any excessive stress on the heel bone and promotes recovery.

Other sources 

You could also have pain at the back of your heel due to an inflamed Achilles tendon – this is the heel cord that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.

Since this tendon is used the most while walking, running and performing other physical activities, it is possible for damage to occur over time. In other cases, there may be tears in the tendon that eventually cause pain and swelling.

It is worth mentioning that heel pain can also be the result of arthritis, which causes a gradual degeneration of joints; in these cases it is common to experience tenderness, swelling and stiffness in the joints of the foot including the heel.

Moreover, in some cases, this condition can lead to the development of a flatfoot posture, which only worsens heel pain and underlying issues.

So, if you’re still seeking ways to treat your heel pain, consider including MASS4D® foot orthotics in your treatment programme.

Foot Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Better Posture and Sports Performance in One Insole     know more

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