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Heel and Foot Pain

Heel and Foot Pain

Heel pain is one of the most common foot and ankle problems. It usually occurs behind the heel or underneath it. If not taken care of initially, the pain can take a toll on your daily life activities. Most people feel the pain right after waking up in the morning or after taking considerable periods of rest. You should get it addressed as soon as possible to recover and participate in daily activities without hassle. 

What is Heel Pain?

The heel holds the foot in shape. It consists of fatty tissue and is present around the heel bone. It acts as a cushion for all essential structures of your foot such as ligaments, muscles and calcaneus (heel bone). 

Heel pain can occur due to various reasons such as injuries, foot structure or conditions like plantar fasciitis. People with flat feet, for instance, are highly susceptible to pain in the heels. In most cases, you feel the pain behind or beneath the heel. In some cases, however, you may feel the pain within the bone itself. 

What Causes the Pain?

The heels have to bear our entire body weight and movement daily. Increased weight such as in the case of obesity causes heel pain. Other factors include:

  • Abnormal walking style 
  • Ill-fitted shoes 
  • Obesity 
  • Heel injuries like stress fractures 
  • Moving on hard surfaces 
  • Nerve enlargement 
  • Disorders such as arthritis and diabetes 
  • Bursitis 

There are specific conditions that can cause excruciating pain in the heels. Let’s have a look at the most common ones:

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is the connective tissue that extends from the heel to the ball of your foot along the sole. It causes heel pain if overstretched or damaged. This band of connective tissue also holds the foot joints and bones in position. Thus, the condition makes it difficult for people to put their foot on the ground. 

Heel spur

A spur is characterized by a tender patch on the foot sole at the heel. It occurs when an abnormal walking style exerts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia. Chronic inflammation occurs leading to a spur. A spur alone is not painful. But, the inflammation associated with the condition is responsible for the pain. 

Sever’s disease

Children between 8-16 years old are more prone to this foot condition. It occurs due to repetitive stress on the growth plate of the heel bone. The growth plate tends to swell up due to excessive running and jumping causing the pain in the heels.  

Who Can Get Heel Pain?

It is a myth that only athletes or runners are prone to frequent pain in the heels. People with existing conditions such as diabetes often complain about the pain. Anyone can get heel pain. However, here are some categories that are at higher risk:

  • Pregnant women 
  • Middle-aged individuals 
  • People who stand on their feet for long periods of time 
  • Overweight individuals 
  • Children between 8-13 years 
  • Physically active people 

How Can Physiotherapy Help Manage Heel Pain?

Physiotherapy focuses on realigning the foot structures including the heel bone. In the case of damaged tissue, physical therapy helps relieve the tension from the area and restore its normal flexibility and strength. All treatments involved are non-invasive and work by stimulating the natural healing response of your body. 

What can physiotherapy do?

  • Reduces pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia 
  • Restores normal length of foot and calf muscles 
  • Controlled return to sports 
  • Restores muscle control of the foot or arch 
  • Corrects foot biomechanics 
  • Education about the right footwear according to the individual’s lifestyle and anatomy 

Treatments such as shockwave therapy, exercises and heat/cold therapy help in managing this condition. The prescription, however, depends on your condition and the severity of your injury. 

Why Choose Legend Physiotherapy?

At Legend Physiotherapy Clinic, we have an expert team of foot specialists and physiotherapists who offer effective and realistic solutions for heel pain. They prescribe the best treatments after evaluating your foot, heel, arches and other structures. The team has years of experience helping people of various ages manage heel pain and perform daily activities easily. Consult with the professionals if you too are not able to live life fully due to heel pain.