Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis - a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or rarely a cyst.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed-resulting in heel pain. The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:
Pain in the bottom of the heel
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 have been sitting for long periods of times. 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.
Causes of plantar fasciitis
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to faulty structure of the foot. For example, people who have problems with their arches - either overly flat feet or high arched feet - are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
Wearing non supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when a person’s job requires long hours on their feet. Obesity also contributes to plantar fasciitis.
Options to help plantar fasciitis
Bracing. Bracing helps keep the foot in a corrected position while the acute pain is present. The Ortho Heal helps offload the plantar fascia, massage the heel pain all day and restrict excessive pronation and supination to alleviate the heel pain.
Orthotics. Once the acute pain of heel pain starts to decrease, orthotics are helpful to continue the course of offloading the plantar fascia for good long term results.
Topical Pain Relievers. Topical pain creams can help alleviated inflammation and pain thereby, helping the person to stretch better and reduce symptoms to allow the body to heal itself. Ortho X Pain Cream has been clinically proven to reduce foot pain.
Compression. Compression to the heel with a heel pain sock alleviates some of the symptoms of inflammation which will aid in heel pain recovery.
Night splints. Night Splints aid in the static pull of the fascia while a person is at rest to alleviate morning symptoms.
Avoid going barefoot. When you walk without shoes, you put undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia.
Limit Activities. Cut down on extended physical activities to give your heel a rest.
Stretching exercises. Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease the pain and assist with recovery.