Heel Pain Management
Beauty is a pain, they say; imagine wearing a pair of high heels for several hours, and then you come back home from a long day of work feeling like your legs are about to give out. You will feel like getting those shoes off as quickly as possible and hoping for a soothing leg massage from your partner!
The damaging effects of prolonged use of high heels should not be overlooked. Most often, we go about our day without thinking about our feet, especially the heels. At the start of each step, the body’s entire weight is concentrated in the heels of the feet which provide the most support when walking, jogging, and running.
Due to this concentrated pressure on the heel, you can incur various issues even leading to the inability to walk until the problems are corrected.. The lack of mobility can affect your mental health and productivity. So, what are other causes of heel pain, and where can you get the help and relief you need?
Causes of heel pain
The largest bone in the foot is the heel bone. With excessive and prolonged pressure on it, the heel can suffer from pain ranging from mild to severe. The severity can be disabling which leaves you wondering how a simple act of walking, jumping, and jogging can cause such damage. Read on to find out.
Sprains and strains
When you are out of shape and jogging for several hours or running on uneven surfaces wearing poorly fitted shoes, you risk a sprain or a strain. One of the most common causes of a sprain or strain is intense physical activity.
When your foot muscles overstretch themselves, it can cause a tearing in the tissue that connects the bone to ligaments. This is called a sprain. Also, when you twist your feet in the wrong direction, it may cause a tear in the connective tissue (tendon) between the muscles and bone, called a strain.
Stress fracture (broken bone)
Falls, accidents, and various sports injuries can cause broken bones. When the heel bone is fractured, it can cause extreme pain, swelling, visible deformity, bruising, and discoloration.
Stepping on a hard or sharp object
Stepping on a sharp object such as a nail can cause extreme pain, discoloration, tenderness, and sometimes immobility.
Runner’s heel (plantar fasciitis)
Runner’s heel is a form of heel pain common in runners. When you consistently jog on a treadmill or run on hard surfaces such as pavement, a lot of pressure is applied to the heel of your feet. Continually running on these hard surfaces day after day can stretch and tear the plantar fascia ligament, the connective tissue between your heel, and the front of your foot.
Plantar Fasciitis is a form of heel pain that causes stiffness, inflammation, and extreme pain at the bottom of the heel. If you have a runner’s heel, when you wake up in the morning, the pain is the worst with the first steps.
If you are a long-distance runner, obese, working a job where you are always on your feet, have flat feet, or have high arch feet, then you stand an increased risk of having Plantar Fasciitis.
Bursa sacs are fluid-filled pads that cushion joints to decrease friction, inflammation, and rubbing of bones on tendons, ligaments, and skin. Concentrated pressure or joint overuse will cause swelling, inflammation, or irritation called Bursitis producing heel pain.
When you work a job like carpentry, gardening, manual labor, sports, and shoveling that requires repetitive motions, kneeling or standing for long hours can increase your risk of Bursitis.
If you have Bursitis, you may experience discolored joints, fever, and decreased mobility.
Running, jumping, and increased athletic activities cause the Achilles tendon to pull on the growth plate in the back of the heel. Sever’s diseases are common in growing children. It is an injury and not a condition. Growth plates harden into bone as children or adolescents grow, but due to the intense activities, a child can experience heel pain due to Sever’s Disease.
How to treat heel pain on your own
Firstly, get off your feet and elevate them. Secondly, apply ice packs to the affected area for 15 minutes twice daily. Thirdly, take pain relief medicines and rest. Fourthly, wear shoes that fit, and practice ankle stretching exercises. Finally, you should note that heel pain can go from mild to chronic, so it is advised that if you notice any discoloration, inflammation, swelling, sudden pain, severe pain, or have the inability to walk, visit a healthcare provider like the expert at Bayshore Podiatry Center to give you the right medical care.
Professional heel pain management
A professional healthcare provider for heel pain management is a safer and more efficient way of treating your heel pain. The podiatrist is a doctor that treats problems relating to your feet and lower legs. He or she will perform a physical examination to diagnose the cause of your heel pain. To do that, the podiatrist will ask questions about your lifestyle including work or sporting activities that you do as well as discuss your symptoms. The podiatrist will check for pain, swelling, fracture, or discoloration in the affected area.
There are different methods used to treat heel pain, and they include nonsurgical and surgical treatments. Nonsurgical treatments include physical therapy and oral or injected medications.
The doctor may prescribe physical therapy in the form of massages, stretching exercises, hot and cold therapy, custom-made orthotics, and relaxation techniques to relieve the intense pain and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the feet.
To counter intense pain with oral and injected medications, the podiatrist may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, including over-the-counter or pain relievers for the discomfort.
The right healthcare provider for optimum heel and foot health is Bayshore Podiatry Center. With top-notch services and experienced doctors, your health is in the right hands.
You can take better care of your feet by reducing strenuous activities, wear flat shoes more often, exercise your feet, wear socks and shoes that are the correct size and avoid standing or sitting for too long. Your heels are very important as they support the entire weight of your body so take care of them.