There are 26 bones in the human foot, of which the heel (calcaneus) is the largest. The human heel is designed to provide a rigid support for the weight of the body. When we are walking or running it absorbs the impact of the foot when it hits the ground, and springs us forward into our next stride. Experts say that the stress placed on a foot when walking may be 1.25 times our body weight , and 2.75 times when running. Consequently, the heel is vulnerable to damage, and ultimately pain. So what causes the Plantar Fascia to become inflamed? There are a number of various reasons for this to occur. For example, you are more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis, if you are over 50 years old, if you're overweight, or pregnant, or if you have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You're also at risk if you do a lot of walking or running for exercise (overuse injury). And if you have tight calf muscles (which a lot of people have) you're also more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis. Even if you have no risk factors, wearing high-heeled shoes (especially spike heels) can still cause problems, such as shortening of the Achilles tendon. They also increase stress to the ball of the foot. This can lead to bursitis, synovitis (inflammation of joint fluid) and even nerve irritation. Even lower-heeled dress shoes, including men's professional footwear, can lead to arch strain, tendonitis and PF. If you'd like to wear heels (who doesn't want to appear taller?), they should be no more than 2 inches. For people who insist on sandals, ask a podiatrist about custom-made sandals, in which arch supports are crafted right into the body of the sandal. Festivals occur in the early fall. One is called the Festival d'Acadiens. I never miss it because I meet with one of my very best friends, Rhonda du Lanclos, who is from Houston. She was a belly dancing teacher and I joined her class. We recognized each other instantly - yes, we would be life-long friends. She, talented, beautiful, dynamic and me, a crazy woman. We hit it off. Ballroom dance shoes should contain a metal tang for arch support. Greater arch support provides a more comfortable dancing experience, and has been shown to prevent pain in feet, ankles, knees and back. People working on hard surfaces overstress their fascia, such as department store clerks and teachers. Some sports activities also overburden the fascia like excessive running, aerobics and basketball. The contributing factors for heel spur include sudden increase in weight; loss of elasticity with age, poor shoes, inflexible calf muscles, weak foot muscles and flat feet. Typical symptoms consist of pain when getting out of bed in the morning and after sitting. Many people also experience discomfort at the end of the day or the day after exercise/strenuous activity. Others describe their pain as radiating or sharp shooting pain which likely involves a nerve in the heel area.
The conditions that cause heel pain also can cause knee and hip pain, but do so in an indirect manner. Hips and knees can be irritated by the limping that occurs with heel pain. As one has to adjust their walking pattern to accommodate for the pain, the knees and hips can become strained, and inflammation or ligament irritation can develop. While the heel pain itself is not the direct cause, the adjustment the body makes to heel pain leads to pain in other parts of the leg. Anti-inflammatory medications help to both control heel pain and decrease inflammation. Over-the-counter medications are usually sufficient, but prescription options are also available. The most common symptom is the searing heel pain experienced over the back of the heel. This occurs because the tendon gets pushed on the heel bone. It causes tenderness around the tendon and in some extreme cases there is an occurrence of a localized nodule filled with a small sack of fluid on the tendon. For most people suffering with Achilles tendon pain, walking during early mornings, or a long period of inactivity is the most painful time. A sudden sprint, or a jumping activity also results in a lot of pain. We treat heel pain on a regular basis at Haro Podiatry Center and while there are many conditions that can cause it, plantar fasciitis is a very popular culprit. It is when the ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot from your toes to your heel becomes irritated and inflamed. Called the plantar fascia, this band of tissue in the foot can cause pain after overuse, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or by being involved in high impact activities. pronated foot (a foot that rolls in at the ankle when walking), which causes tightness and twisting of the Achilles tendon, thus increasing its pull on the heel's growth plate Early recognition, intervention and therapy is commonly the key to efficiently taking care of any human ailment. Heel pain is no various. If you feel a constant burning feeling at the base or back of your foot you 'd be wise not to neglect it. It's good to have it analyzed by a physician or podiatric doctor to choose whether you have a muscle or structural issue. The ideal body has a framework of curves and arches that, with the joints, support and balance the body’s weight. When spinal curves or foot arches flatten or are exaggerated, our center of gravity is shifted. The result? Pain! Heel pain and tender heels is usually the result of a biomechanical irregularity which places too much pressure on the heel bone and the yielding tissues that attach to it. Heel pain may also effect from injury, or a contusion incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing weakly constructed footwear; or being heavy. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are worsened early in the morning. At that time, the arch tissue is tight and simple movements stretch the contracted tissue. As you begin to loosen the foot, the pain usually subsides, but often returns with prolonged standing or walking. There are some safer and healthier approaches for eliminating fasciitis heel pain as well. These are basically self-care methods for relieving pain and supporting the feet. These methods have been designed for releasing the tissues surrounding your heel bone. Pressure is applied with fingertips to evenly distributed energy within the body and ensures relief. If you have ever had pain in your heels, try to decrease the total number of miles you walk or run with your shoes on. Shorter distance will lead to lesser impact on the feet. Local bruises — Heel bruises can be treated by applying an ice pack for the first few minutes after injury. It took me up to a year to treat mine at home the first time I got it. That was over ten years ago. I blitzed my foot with an array of natural and therapeutic treatments - including icing, stretches, exercises, massage, foot taping, and wearing shoes with good arch support. I did manage to get rid of it, but it took me nearly a year of exploring home treatment options until I was completely pain-free. In other words, if you suffer from knife-like heel pain, you probably won't need a real knife in your heel. Now that's a relief.