Per the journal, heel pain is caused from excessive force applied to the plantar fascia daily. The band of tissue found on the bottom of the foot (see picture) This force can be directly linked to either strenuous activity such is the case with athletes or continued deforming forces like obesity. In the elderly, the loss of cushioning on the heel can cause inflammation leading to heel pain requiring treatment. Per the journal, conservative measures are an effective treatment of heel pain and 80% of suffers get better without surgery. It can take 8 weeks before pain eases with treatment. Get the most relief without the shots by doing heel stretches, wear an Ortho Heel brace, use a night splint, and apply topical pain cream (OrthoX Pain Cream). Visit heelpainexpress.com to start your recovery today.
Per the Chinese Journal of Traumatology Vol 18 Issue 3, 2015; Heel Pain a Systemic Review
When the correct treatment program begins, it sometimes takes 6 up to 8 weeks before the pain begins to ease. Total pain alleviation may not happen for several months.69
The time frame for heel pain to last mostly depends on the cause. For example, heel pain that has correlation with obesity will improve gradually as the patient loses weight. Heel pain relating to a specific sporting or exercise regimen, a period of rest may bring relief. When a patient's heel is pain-free, the patient may need to modify training program to prevent reoccurrence of the pain. Most heel pain goes away after brief period of time either on its own or after treatment. Heel pain may return a patient returns too early to previous level of exercise or sports participation.2
Heel pain has long been recognized as highly prevailed in the senior population, which impacts approximately one third seniors older than 65 years.6, 7 and 8 In the senior group, foot pain is associated with decreased ability to manage the daily activities, problems of imbalance and walking pattern, and increased risks of falls.9, 10 and 11 Also as a person grows older, the pads that protect the heel from injury, like pads under a carpet, can wear down and thus fail to provide the shock absorption.12 Heel pain is the most common in active people over the age of 40. This increased prevalence may result from a decrease in the elasticity of the plantar fascia and a slowing of the healing process with age. Heel pain also is relatively common in active children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 13. Pediatric heel pain frequently occurs on the bottom rear of the heel or the lateral. Heel pain occurs in both heels (bilaterally) in less than 30 percent of cases. The left heel is more often to be affected. The opposite heel may follow with similar symptoms, often as a result of compensation.13
Often times, athletes are the most risk to develop pain heel conditions and it is the most frequent injury in ballet dancers.14 Active routines such as running and jumping can put constant strain on the heel, various muscles, ligaments all over the foot, ankle, and calf, which can lead to significant tissue damage. Improper muscle flexibility, increased foot pronation, and leg-length discrepancy are other predisposing factors for this condition.15
In addition, other factors of a person's lifestyle, such as work that regularly requires heavy lifting, obesity can cause heel pain because excess pounds stress the heels. Flat foot conditions can adversely affect the heels of the feet and lead to damage and serious pain. Heel pain is not uncommon in pregnant mothers because as the pregnancy progresses there is weight gain and this extra weight puts more stress on the heel.16
There are many treatments options that exist when dealing with heel pain but there is lack of evidence to show which one is the most effective. Each doctor has a different treatment method. As we don't know yet which treatment works best, upgrading to better, more supportive shoes should be the important first-line treatment option.