is common and has many causes. Typically, these problems are easily solved by rest or simple
exercises. Pain may occur in two places - beneath or under the heel. Inflammation of tissues on the foot?s bottom produces pain beneath the heel. Common causes include bruises, injury to tissue
connecting toes and heel bone (referred to as plantar fasciitis), or calcium deposits resulting from extended plantar fasciitis. Under-the-heel pain comes from inflammation where the Achilles tendon
meets the heel bone.
There are many possible causes of heel pain. Most commonly it is a chronic, long-term pain that results of some type of faulty biomechanics (abnormalities in the way you walk) that place too much
stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues that attach to it. Chronic pain is a common result of standing or walking too many hours in the course of a day, working on concrete, being overweight,
wearing poorly-constructed shoes, having an overly-pronated foot type (where the arch collapses excessively) or the opposite--having too high an arch. Women seem to get this slightly more often than
men, and while any age can be affected, it usually occurs between 30 and 50 years of age. The other type of heel pain is the sort you get from an acute injury--a bruise to the bone or soft tissue
strain resulting from a strenuous activity, like walking, running, or jumping, or from some degree of trauma. While there are dozens of possible causes to heel pain, I will review some of the more
common causes. Arch Pain/Plantar Fasciitis. One of those often-painful soft tissue that attaches to heel spurs at the bottom of the foot is called "plantar fascia". Fascia, located throughout the
body, is a fibrous connective tissue similar to a ligament. You can see fascia as some of that white, connective tissue attaching to bones, when you pull apart meat. The "plantar" fascia in our
bodies is that fascia which is seen on the bottom (or plantar portion) of the foot, extending from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. Compared to other fascia around the body, plantar fascia is
very thick and very strong. It has to be strong because of the tremendous amount of force it must endure when you walk, run or jump. But while the plantar fascia is a strong structure, it can still
get injured, most commonly when it is stretched beyond its normal length over long periods of time. Plantar Fascitis. When plantar fascia is injured, the condition is called "plantar fasciitis",
pronounced "plan-tar fash-I-tis". (Adding "-itis" to the end of a word means that structure is inflamed.) It is sometimes known more simply as 'fasciitis'. Plantar fasciitis is the most common type
of arch pain. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis may occur anywhere along the arch, but it is most common near its attachment to the heel bone.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are classically pain of a sharp nature which is worse standing first thing in the morning. After a short period of walking the pain usually reduces or disappears,
only to return again later in the day. Aggravating times are often after increased activity and rising from sitting. If these are the sort of symptoms you are experiencing then the Heel-Fix Kit ?
will be just the treatment your heel is crying out for. Some heel pain is more noticeable at night and at rest. Because plantar fasciitis is a mechanical pathology it is unlikely that this sort of
heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. The most common reason for night heel pain is pressure on your Sciatic nerve causing referred pain in the heel. Back pain is often present as well, but you
can get the heel pain with little or no back pain that is caused by nerve irritation in the leg or back. If you get pain in your heels mainly or worse at night please see a clinician as soon as you
can to confirm the diagnosis.
After you have described your foot symptoms, your doctor will want to know more details about your pain, your medical history and lifestyle, including. Whether your pain is worse at specific times of
the day or after specific activities. Any recent injury to the area. Your medical and orthopedic history, especially any history of diabetes, arthritis or injury to your foot or leg. Your age and
occupation. Your recreational activities, including sports and exercise programs. The type of shoes you usually wear, how well they fit, and how frequently you buy a new pair. Your doctor will
examine you, including. An evaluation of your gait. While you are barefoot, your doctor will ask you to stand still and to walk in order to evaluate how your foot moves as you walk. An examination of
your feet. Your doctor may compare your feet for any differences between them. Then your doctor may examine your painful foot for signs of tenderness, swelling, discoloration, muscle weakness and
decreased range of motion. A neurological examination. The nerves and muscles may be evaluated by checking strength, sensation and reflexes. In addition to examining you, your health care
professional may want to examine your shoes. Signs of excessive wear in certain parts of a shoe can provide valuable clues to problems in the way you walk and poor bone alignment. Depending on the
results of your physical examination, you may need foot X-rays or other diagnostic tests.
Non Surgical Treatment
As heel pain is basically a stress problem in the tissues of the heel, the main treatment is to reduce stress. Your doctor will advise you about weight loss and appropriate footwear. A soft heel pad
is useful to wear in your shoe to act as a shock-absorber when you walk. If you have a stiff ankle or tight Achilles tendon a physiotherapist can advise on exercises for these. Stretching the
Achilles tendon and plantar fascia is very effective general treatment for many patients. If you have a high-arched or flat foot, a podiatrist may advise an insole to reduce stress. Simple
pain-killers such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medicines can help reduce the pain. Ask advice from your doctor or pharmacist before taking anti-inflammatory medicines as they can have
troublesome side-effects in some people. The simple measures above will help the majority of people with heel pain. If the pain continues, a splint to wear on your ankle at night to prevent your
Achilles tendon tightening up while you are asleep is often very effective in improving the severe pain that many people get first thing in the morning and breaking the cycle of pain. Your GP or an
orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon or rheumatologist may inject some steroid into the attachment of the plantar fascia to damp down the inflammation. These measures will reduce the pain in most
people who are not helped by simple treatment. If you still have pain after one or two injections, your doctor may want to investigate your problem a bit further. If no other medical problem or cause
of stress in your heel is found, a number of other treatments can be tried. Further physiotherapy, wearing a plaster cast to rest the inflamed tissues, pain control treatments such as transcutaneous
nerve stimulation (TENS) or acupuncture. Only if all non-surgical treatments fail would an operation be considered.
With the advancements in technology and treatments, if you do need to have surgery for the heel, it is very minimal incision that?s done. And the nice thing is your recovery period is short and you
should be able to bear weight right after the surgery. This means you can get back to your weekly routine in just a few weeks. Recovery is a lot different than it used to be and a lot of it is
because of doing a minimal incision and decreasing trauma to soft tissues, as well as even the bone. So if you need surgery, then your recovery period is pretty quick.
It is not always possible to prevent heel pain, but there are measures you can take to help avoid further episodes. Being overweight can place excess pressure and strain on your feet, particularly on
your heels. This increases the risk of damaging your feet and heels. If you are overweight, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight by combining regular exercise with a healthy, balanced diet
can be beneficial for your feet. You can calculate your body mass index (BMI) to find out whether you are a healthy weight for your height and build. To work out your BMI, divide your weight in
kilograms by your height in metres squared. A BMI of less than 18.5 means that you are underweight, 18.5-24.9 means that your weight is healthy, 25-29 means that you are overweight, 30-40 means that
you are obese, over 40 means that you are morbidly obese. You can also use the BMI healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI.