Heel Pain

Heel pain is mainly prevalent among active adults above the age of 40. Children and adolescents also suffer from it. It mainly arises from exercise and daily activities. Moreover, the heel is the first part of the foot that touches the ground while walking. The heel bone or the 'calcaneus' is the largest foot bone.

Why does the pain occur?

There are two structures below the foot or on the sole of the foot, they are the plantar fascia and the flexor digitorum brevis muscle, and these are connected to heel pain. What happens is, when your foot absorbs the weight of your body while walking, the arch flattens and the foot is stabilized and the arch is maintained by the two structures.

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are redness, heat and swelling.

Abnormalities in your walking manner can result in the inflammation of the structures that are attached to the heel bone, thus causing heel pain. It is commonly caused due to the inflammation of the plantar fascia.

If you stress an area of the foot repetitively, it is likely that the area will develop sores. Shoes with improper heels and a sudden boost in activity can cause heel pain. If the plantar fascia is too stressed, then the pain is felt intensely when you wake up in the morning.

A heel pain will make it very uncomfortable to carry the weight of the body on the heel.

The treatment

Finding the heel pain extremely awkward? It is time for treatment. What you must do is provide cushioning, absorb shock and heighten the heel for transferring pressure. For this, you will need a visco heel cradle, a heel cup or an orthotic designed with materials for absorbing shock and shear forces.

For controlling the pronation, an orthotic with a good arch support and medial posting will be good. Another important thing to be kept in mind is that you must choose your footwear effectively always. The best shoes are the ones that have a good arch support, a firm heel counter and proper heel height.

However, if you find that the problem is still persisting, visit a doctor immediately. The diagnosis of the pain will involve imaging tests and physical examination.

You can prevent the pain

Yes, with a few precautions, you can keep the pain at bay.

Before you start an exercise program, you must consult a physician.
Never go barefoot on hard surfaces or rocks.
Start exercising slowly.
After exercising, relax and stretch yourself properly.
Always wear well fitting shoes and if required replace them frequently.
Change the incline as desired when walking or running on a treadmill.
Stop exercising if you find that the pain is persisting.

Heel pain is a common condition but do not be careless enough to ignore it totally.

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