If you are in constant pain while walking and have the worst pain in your heel… you are not alone! Many people throughout their lifetime will develop heel pain that just doesn’t seem to go away. Keep reading to learn the top 3 causes of heel pain and also learn some heel pain treatments to help that go away!
So you have been walking around and going about your normal routine and one day you woke up with heel pain. You take some Tylenol and go about your normal day thinking it was just something you stepped on or tweaked your foot weird. This pain and swelling persists for a couple of days, weeks or even months until you can’t take it anymore and go to a physical therapist. This is how it usually goes, right?
Typically, heel pain is not caused by one specific incident or injury, but happens gradually from overuse, repetitive stress, improper shoe-wear, or just by the anatomy of your foot with high or low arches. The three common causes of your heel pain are plantar fasciitis, heel bursitis and achilles tendonitis. There are other causes, but these are typically the top three.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain in heel of foot this is usually degeneration of the plantar fascia that supports the arch of your foot. This can come and go throughout the day, but pain is usually worst in the morning within the first few steps of the day. This condition usually happens because of the anatomy of your foot with your arches being either too high or low. When the plantar fascia is overstretched, this can cause irritation and inflammation of the fascia causing pain.
Heel bursitis is inflammation of the bursa causing pain in the heel. In your body, you have many bursa sacs which are fluid-filled sacs which provide a cushion between bones and tendons or muscles around a joint. When this is irritated in your heel, either by landing awkward or from constant pressure on the back of the heel, it can cause inflammation and irritation causing pain.
Achilles tendinosis / tendonitis is an overuse injury of the achilles tendon. Your achilles is a band of tissue that connects calf muscle at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone which is used all the time when you are walking, running, jumping and moving. This injury is most common in runners who have suddenly ramped up their intensity or duration of their runs or someone who suddenly increase their intensity of exercise/movement.
Heel Pain Treatments
Most of these pains / injuries can be prevented or avoided with a few simple steps!
- Make sure to stretch before and after exercise
- Like anything, gradually increase your activity
- Make sure you have good footwear and they properly fit your foot (see our previous post about shoes)
- Be sure to strengthen your feet and ankles (don’t forget the hips either for the help with foot control)
- Rest when your body needs it, don’t push past pain
For those of you who want to learn how to prevent any injuries and avoid any pain go to our website for a free course on the foot and ankle and learn some exercises you can do right now to help strengthen and get ready for flip-flop season.
If you are ready to start physical therapy right away, then do not hesitate to give a call at 610-841-3555 and get started on the path to healing.
Thanks all for now! Feel free to post any questions in the comments section below and if you sign up for a course you will be able to get to stay on top of all things Robbins Rehab!