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What is Heel Pain?

Heel pain is one of today’s most common foot problems. This pain generally occurs beneath or behind the heel, where the tendon adjoins to the heel bone. It is commonly seen in women of 30 to 50 years of age group. Besides, it is also frequently found in people who run and cover long distances, such as Marathon runners.

Some common reasons for experiencing Heel Pain

There are some definite reasons behind the common heel pain that mostly happens to women. These are:

  • The first case is when you’re facing difficulty placing your heel on the floor after waking up in the morning.

There’s a thick muscle band named Plantar Fasciitis that is formed with tissues. This muscle is responsible for connecting the heel bones to your toes. Whenever it gets tightened, you would face difficulty in your first 2-3 steps. After that, your pain would slowly decrease.

  • The second case is growth in parts or edges of your heel bones. This happens due to the increase of Calcanium.

In simple terms, there are two integral parts of your heel. One is the Calcanium or the heel bone. This is a large bone that builds the basic foundation of the back end of your foot. Another part is the muscular layer that covers Calcanium. Due to the uneven growth of this Calcanium, you may face heel pain.

  • Another case is when Marathon runners, who cover long distances by running, experience heel pain. While running, the feet create an impact on the ground. Due to this, the runners may experience a stress fracture.

However, the heel bone is not the only responsible factor for such pain. There are times when you can face heel pain because of your muscles. And this factor is more common and influential.

  • If you have seen the bow, you know that it’s arched because there’s a tight thread behind it. Similarly, if you notice your feet, there’s an arch there as well. This happens because of the Plantar Fasciitis muscle beneath it. This muscle tightens your feet.

If due to your job role you would have to stand for a long time, then you use this Plantar Fasciitis muscle continuously and automatically. Hence, the Plantar Fasciitis gets more tightened than normal. Due to this, when you would wake up in the morning and place your feet on the floor, the muscle would try to drag the heel. As a result, swelling happens at the connecting point of this muscle and your heel bone. This is most commonly seen in women.

  • Another cause of your pain may have its origin at the connectivity point of your Tendon Achilles (a tough fibrous muscle) and heel bone.

 

Treatments of Heel Pain

The reasons mentioned above are easily treatable. You can take some simple primitive measures to get rid of such pains. Injections and strong medicines are not always compulsory. There are some common exercises that you can practice to steadily decrease your heal pain. Two of them are:

  • If you’re experiencing swelling at your feet while walking, then keep your heel high and start walking on your feet. You should practice this regularly for at least 5-10 minutes.
  • Also, if you’ve stairs in your house or surrounding, you should try to rub your heel at its edge.

These two exercises would help you to stretch your Plantar Fasciitis to heal your pain.

However, if you’re not taking medicines and continuing to practice this exercise and still the heal pain is increasing, then you should visit a consultant or a specialist. Because sometimes, heel pain can be the primary symptom of Ankylosing Spondylitis or such inflammatory arthritis, which later affects your joints. Hence, don’t neglect it by assuming that it’s maybe a simple muscular pain.

  • Your footwear, i.e. the shoes or sleepers that you use can also affect heel pain.

If you walk a lot but don’t run regularly, then you need a proper walking shoe. Because these shoes are thin-layered, soft, band flexible. Remember, if the heel part of your walking shoe is hard then it can cause swelling.

But, these shoes are not appropriate for regular jogging or running because they may cause pressure to your heal and can result in stress fracture. In that case, you need jogging shoes. The heal portions of these shoes are thick which is appropriate for your heels.

Hence, while choosing shoes, select the appropriate type and appropriate size that suits your requirements, walking, and running patterns.

Hence, pay proper attention to the minute details of your feet and heel. If you’re feeling difficulties then investigate them and consult a specialist and do an X-ray and other tests in time. Because this heel pain in long term may harm your spine and hip joints. So, take necessary actions in time.

About Author

Dr. Sagar Kakatkar

Dr. Sagar Kakatkar

Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement Surgeon
Contact: 8806252525
Email – ask@sahyadrihospitals.com

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