Heel pain is the general term used to describe pain and discomfort experienced anywhere in or around your foot. It has been estimated to affect 10% of the general population.
WHO ARE AT RISK OF HEEL PAIN?
- Ages 65 and above – 1/3 affected
- Active people above the age of 40
- Athletes – Most frequently ballerinas and runners
- Being overweight or obese
- Frequent use of high-heels
- Regular heavy lifting
- Flat foot / High arch foot
WHAT ARE THE COMMON CAUSES?
Heel pain are most commonly caused by mechanical factors. These are the most common causes:
- Plantar fasciitis (most common)
- Strains / sprains from overactivity
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Heel bursitis (inflammation)
- Heel bone fracture
WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
It is the most common cause for heel pain in the general population and it is estimated to affect 1 in 10 people in their lifetime.
It is inflammation of your plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you may experience stabbing pain in your heel that occurs with the first step after getting out of bed, which usually gets better with activity. However, long hours of standing and walking may worsen pain.
WHAT CAN I DO FOR MYSELF?
- Rest and elevate your feet
- Ice the area of pain for 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours using the “Frozen Bottle Roll Stretch” method
- Wear wide comfortable shoes with low heel and soft sole
- Do regular gentle calf stretching exercises
- Do exercises that do not put pressure on your feet such as swimming
- Lose weight
OTHER TREATMENT OPTIONS
To teach and assist you on a series of exercises that helps stretch the plantar fascia and Achilies tendon & strengthen your calf muscles.
Therapeutic Ultrasound to reduce inflammation and pain & promote healing.
Orthotics/heel cup recommendation.
As recommended by your doctor, although surgery is rarely required.
With correct heel and treatment, it may take up to 6 to 8 weeks before pain relief is achieved. Total recovery may take up to several months depending on the cause of your heel pain and your motivation & discipline in following the recommended exercise regime!