Every mile you walk puts tons of stress on each foot. Your feet can handle a heavy load, but too much stress pushes them over their limits. When you pound your feet on hard surfaces playing sports or
wear shoes that irritate sensitive tissues, you may develop Heel Pain
, the most common problem affecting the foot and
ankle. A sore heel will usually get better on its own without surgery if you give it enough rest. However, many people ignore the early signs of heel pain and keep on doing the activities that caused
it. When you continue to walk on a sore heel, it will only get worse and could become a chronic condition leading to more problems.
Pain in the foot can be due to a problem in any part of the foot. Bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, fascia, toenail beds, nerves, blood vessels, or skin can be the source of foot pain. The cause of
foot pain can be narrowed down by location and by considering some of the most common causes of foot pain. 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.
Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with an inflammation of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot. The inflammation of this arch area is called
plantar fasciitis. The inflammation maybe aggravated by shoes that lack appropriate support and by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies an athletic lifestyle. Achilles Tendinopathy, Pain
and inflammation of the tendon at the back of the heel that connects the calf muscle to the foot. Sever?s, Often found in children between the ages of 8 - 13 years and is an inflammation of the
calcaneal epiphyseal plate (growth plate) in the back of the heel. Bursitis, An inflamed bursa is a small irritated sack of fluid at the back of the heel. Other types of heel pain include soft tissue
growths, Haglunds deformity (bone enlargement at the back of the heel), bruises or stress fractures and possible nerve entrapment.
Your GP or podiatrist (a healthcare professional who specialises in foot care) may be able to diagnose the cause of your heel pain by asking about your symptoms and examining your heel and foot. You
will usually only need further tests if you have additional symptoms that suggest the cause of your heel pain is not inflammation, such as numbness or a tingling sensation in your foot - this could
be a sign of nerve damage in your feet and legs (peripheral neuropathy), your foot feels hot and you have a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above - these could be signs of a bone
infection, you have stiffness and swelling in your heel - this could be a sign of arthritis. Possible further tests may include, blood tests, X-rays - where small doses of radiation are used to
detect problems with your bones and tissues, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or ultrasound scan, which are more detailed scans.
Non Surgical Treatment
If you still have pain after several weeks, see your foot and ankle surgeon, who may add one or more of these treatment approaches, padding and strapping. Placing pads in the shoe softens the impact
of walking. Strapping helps support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia. Orthotic devices. Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities
causing the plantar fasciitis. Injection therapy. In some cases, corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain. Removable walking cast. A removable walking cast
may be used to keep your foot immobile for a few weeks to allow it to rest and heal. Night splint. Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while
sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain experienced by some patients. Physical therapy. Exercises and other physical therapy measures may be used to help provide relief.
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.
The following steps will help prevent plantar fasciitis or help keep the condition from getting worse if you already have it. The primary treatment is rest. Cold packs application to the area for 20
minutes several times a day or after activities give some relief. Over-the-counter pain medications can help manage the pain, consult your healthcare professional. Shoes should be well cushioned,
especially in the midsole area, and should have the appropriate arch support. Some will benefit from an orthotic shoe insert, such as a rubber heel pad for cushioning. Orthotics should be used in
both shoes, even if only one foot hurts. Going barefoot or wearing slipper puts stress on your feet. Put on supportive shoes as soon as you get out of bed. Calf stretches and stretches using a towel
(place the towel under the ball of your feet and pull gently the towel toward you and hold a few seconds) several times a day, especially when first getting up in the morning. Stretching the Achilles
tendon at the back of the heel is especially important before sports, but it is helpful for nonathletes as well. Increasing your exercise levels gradually. Staying at a healthy weight. Surgery is
very rarely required.