Heel Pain

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Heel PainHeel pain is something many people endure daily. Unfortunately, too many of them don’t seek the help for it they need.

The good news is that there are many effective treatments for a wide variety of heel pain causes. No matter your age, lifestyle, or activity level, Premier Podiatry Group can help you find comfort again. Our treatments range from conservative to high-tech, helping to relieve pain and prevent it from coming back.

Common Sources of Heel Pain

Heel pain often arises when the demands we place on our feet become too great.

We ask a lot of the structures that support us. Our feet and ankles can endure forces of up to two times our body weight just engaged in normal walking. Now think about how much more force there is in running!

While our bodies are made for the task, there are still times when there is enough sudden force or repetitive force applied that something becomes injured. Some of the more common we treat include:

  • Plantar fasciitis. The most common source of heel pain for adults, this condition is caused by an inflamed tissue (plantar fascia) running along the underside of your foot. When subjected to excessive stress, the fascia sustains tiny rips and becomes inflamed as a result. Your body then works to repair the fascia during periods of rest, but the tears can reopen with the first steps afterwards. For this reason, a primary symptom of plantar fasciitis is sharp heel pain in the morning.
  • Achilles tendinitis. The Achilles tendon is the body’s strongest tendon, and is quite durable, but it’s not infallible. When overworked, the Achilles becomes inflamed. Pain in the back of the heel is typically strongest during, or immediately following, physical activity and will become stronger over time. This injury often happens to long-distance runners and “weekend warriors” (who sporadically engage in intense physical activity).
  • Sever’s disease. Plantar fasciitis is the leading cause of heel pain for adults, but Sever’s is the most common source for kids (especially adolescents). Sever’s isn’t actually a disease, though. Instead, it is a condition that occurs when the heel bone reaches physical maturity before the Achilles tendon. This leads to tightness and pulling in the back of the heel. The pain is often worse with physical activity and treatment is centered on relieving it (since the condition will resolve itself over time, without any long-term issues).

Heel Pain Treatment and Prevention                                                     

Discovering the root cause of heel pain is a crucial first step to treatment, but then it’s time to do something about it!

Most cases of heel pain are successfully resolved without the need for surgery. There are many different options and methods we may use in creating a unique plan for your specific needs and lifestyle.

Some forms of treatment include rest, ice, medication, stretches, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections. Technology, orthotic devices, Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), and laser therapy can also produce excellent resultHeel Pain

Naturally, the best form of treatment is to prevent a condition from developing in the first place. The good news is that most of the common causes of heel pain are fairly preventable. Measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing heel pain include:

  • Wearing proper footwear. Make sure you have the right shoes for the sports and exercises you do. More than simply “wearing running shoes if you run often,” always pick footwear that fits correctly, has a solid construction, and provides ample cushioning and arch support. Beyond footwear for physical activities, limit the amount of time you spend wearing high-heeled shoes. Pumps and stilettos may look attractive, but they cause excessive strain on the connective tissues in your feet and lower legs. If you wear these kinds of shoes for work, consider wearing more-sensible models on your commute to and from the office.
  • Easing into physical activity. When starting a new running or exercise program, give your body time to adjust to the increased forces you’re placing on it. To keep your feet and ankles safe, start any new workout program at an easy level and then slowly ramp up your intensity and duration over time. A good target is a roughly 10% increase per week. Doing more will increase your injury risk.
  • Stretching. Before any individual workout session or athletic activity, take about 5-10 minutes for a proper warmup, followed by some dynamic stretches targeting the muscles you are going to use. This is a smart approach to prepare your body for the activity you are about to perform. There are many injuries that could be prevented by warming up and stretching first.
  • Cross-training. Instead of running six days a week or only relying on high-impact sports like basketball or tennis for fitness, mix in a couple of sessions of yoga, cycling, swimming, or walking to reduce the total amount of physical stress on your feet and heels.

Heel pain is a persistent problem that can keep you from enjoying your favorite activities and living the life you love if you let it. You don’t have to suffer with plantar fasciitis, however—or any other condition like it. Let Premier Podiatry Group help you take care of your feet and eliminate your discomfort. Make an appointment today by calling (814) 472-2660 or by visiting our online request page.

3133 New Germany Rd, Suite 62
Ebensburg, PA 15931
(814) 472-2660

411 Theatre Drive
Johnstown, PA 15904
(814) 409-7373

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