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 try to 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.Surgery is rarely necessary.
Heel pain has many causes. Heel pain is generally the result of faulty biomechanics (walking gait abnormalities) that place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues that attach to it.
The stress may also result from injury, or a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing poorly constructed footwear (such as flimsy flip-flops); or being
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain along the inside edge of the heel near the arch of the foot. The pain is worse when weight is placed on the foot especially after a long period of rest
or inactivity. This is usually most pronounced in the morning when the foot is first placed on the floor. This symptom called first-step pain is typical of plantar fasciitis. Prolonged standing can
also increase the painful symptoms. It may feel better after activity but most patients report increased pain by the end of the day. Pressing on this part of the heel causes tenderness. Pulling the
toes back toward the face can be very painful.
To arrive at a diagnosis, the foot and ankle surgeon will obtain your medical history and examine your foot. Throughout this process the surgeon rules out all the possible causes for your heel pain
other than plantar fasciitis. In addition, diagnostic imaging studies such as x-rays or other imaging modalities may be used to distinguish the different types of heel pain. Sometimes heel spurs are
found in patients with plantar fasciitis, but these are rarely a source of pain. When they are present, the condition may be diagnosed as plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome.
Non Surgical Treatment
When consulting a doctor about heel pain, a patient can expect to be questioned about their level of pain, how long they?ve been experiencing it, and which activities aggravate or alleviate the
condition. The doctor may order x-rays, a physical therapy regimen, or refer the afflicted individual to an orthopedic specialist for further examination. The doctor may attempt to recreate
conditions that cause the heel pain to flare up in order to study reaction and cause in the patient, but this will be temporary and the doctor will stop this test at the request of the patient. A
patient with heel pain may also be fitted with special inserts for their shoes to help correct arch and heel problems that cause pain. Heel problems can range from the mildly irritating to the nearly
devastating, but proper prevention in care will help keep each step pain free. Advanced orthopedics, pain management, and technologically-honed surgical techniques ensure that no patient needs to
suffer with the discomfort of heel pain and the restrictions it imposes on an active lifestyle.
Surgery to correct heel pain is generally only recommended if orthotic treatment has failed. There are some exceptions to this course of treatment and it is up to you and your doctor to determine the
most appropriate course of treatment. Following surgical treatment to correct heel pain the patient will generally have to continue the use of orthotics. The surgery does not correct the cause of the
heel pain. The surgery will eliminate the pain but the process that caused the pain will continue without the use of orthotics. If orthotics have been prescribed prior to surgery they generally do
not have to be remade.
Before you get out of bed in the morning, and then periodically throughout the day, do the following exercises to increase flexibility and ease pain. Slowly flex your foot and toes to stretch the
tissue on the bottom of your sore foot. Hold the stretch for 10 counts. Relax and repeat. Do gentle ankle rolls to keep the tissues around the ankle and on the back of the heel flexible. Sit on the
edge of your bed and roll your foot back and forth over a tennis ball.