Heel pain most commonly occurs as a result of inflammation in the sole of your foot that involves a fibrous band of connective tissue called the plantar fascia. Inflammation of the plantar fascia results in a condition called plantar fasciitis, which most commonly occurs as a part of the natural aging process, but can also develop as a result of trauma to the sole of your foot or excessive pressures from repetitive heavy lifting or obesity. Heel spurs, arthritis, gout, ill-fitting shoes and problems with the way you walk (your gait) can also contribute to heel pain, as can issues affecting your Achilles tendon.
Most types of heel pain can be managed with conservative, non-surgical treatments, including the use of special custom orthotics designed to relieve pressure or redistribute weight and pressure more evenly. Oral medications to reduce pain and inflammation may help relieve some types of heel pain, as can gentle stretching exercises. Walk and Smile offers a pain management kit that includes a special, proprietary formulation designed to treat inflammation and pain in the feet and the ankles so you can experience relief of painful symptoms and pain-free range of motion more quickly. In a few cases, such as when heel pain is caused by heel spurs, bone fragments or a torn tendon, surgery may be needed to repair and restore the area.
There are several steps you can take to help decrease the chance of developing heel pain, including:
losing excess weight;
performing gentle stretching exercises to keep the heel and foot flexible;
wearing shoes that fit properly and provide proper support;
seeing the doctor at the first sign of heel pain.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!