Do you know that your foot and ankle consist of 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 tendons? And the largest bone in your foot is that of the heel.
Image Courtesy: modpodpodiatry.com.au
If your heel is injured or overused, it may become painful. The pain may range from mild to inactivating.
You will possibly need to visit a doctor or podiatrist at https://www.modpodpodiatry.com.au/podiatrist-morisset/ to get the cause diagnosed if simple home therapies don’t work.
Common Reasons of Heel Pain
There may be several reasons of heel pain.
Strains and Sprains
Strains and sprains often occur due to physical activity and are injuries to the body. They are common and can range from minor to serious, depending on the activity.
When your plantar fascia ligament is damaged because of excessive pressure on your feet, plantar fasciitis occurs, leading to pain and stiffness.
This is a type of arthritis and mainly affects your spine. It results in severe inflammation of vertebrae that might further cause chronic pain and disability. Heel pain can be caused by this condition too.
This type of arthritis is triggered by an infection in the body.
The fluid-filled pockets around your joints are called bursae. They are located around the areas where skin, muscle tissues and tendons meet bones. Bursitis is the inflammation of bursae and causes heel pain.
Achilles tendonitis takes place when Achilles tendon, the tendon that connects the calf muscle and the heel together, becomes inflamed and painful because of injuries or overuse.
These disorders straightaway affect the development of bones in children and adolescents.
When to Visit Your Doctor?
Some home remedies like rest can first be tried when heel pain starts. If pain is not relieved within 2-3 weeks, you should visit your doctor or a podiatrist Dee Why such as ModPod Podiatry or your trusted podiatry clinic in your area.
You have to call one of these professionals immediately if:
- You experience severe pain
- Pain starts suddenly
- Heel is reddened
- Heel is swollen
- Walking becomes impossible due to heel pain
Treatment of Heel Pain
If heel pain starts, you can try the following home remedies to alleviate your pain:
- Take as much rest as you can
- Apply ice to heel twice a day for 10-15 minutes
- Wear properly fitting shoes
- Take over-the-counter pain killers
- Use shoe inserts or heel lifts to alleviate pain
- Wear a night splint which is a special device that elongates the foot when you sleep
If these home remedies don’t work, you will have to visit your doctor. Your doctor or podiatrist will perform a physical exam and inquire about your symptoms and the time when they started.
He may also take an X-ray to find the reason of your heel pain. Once the reason is known, your doctor can start the right treatment.
In several cases, doctors prescribe physiotherapy which can help strengthen your foot tendons and muscles due to which further injury is prevented.
In case of severe pain, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications which can be taken orally or injected into the foot.
The doctor may also suggest you to support your foot as much as you can, either by using special devices or taping the foot.
Very rarely, your doctor may suggest surgery to rectify your problem; however, heel surgery has a long recovery time and may not always eliminate your foot pain.
Image Courtesy: modpodpodiatry.com.au
Prevention of Heel Pain
All cases of heel pain may not be prevented. However, some easy precautions can avoid injury to the heel and pain.
- Use footwear that will fit correctly and support feet
- Stretch your muscles prior to starting exercise
- Wear appropriate shoes for physical activity
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Rest when your muscles ache or your feet are tired
Take proper care of your heels and you can enjoy various physical activities without any problem.