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Heel Pain (Heel Spur)

Introduction to Heel Pain

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis which is commonly referred to as a heel spur. Plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue which runs along the bottom surface of the foot, from the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia is inflamed. This condition can be very painful and cause a considerable amount of suffering.

Understanding this condition

Long standing inflammation causes the deposition of calcium at the point where the plantar fascia inserts into the heel. This results in the appearance of a sharp thorn like heel spur on x-ray. The heel spur is asymptomatic (not painful), the pain arises from the inflammation of the plantar fascia. Symptoms include a dull ache which is felt most of the time with episodes of a sharp pain in the centre of the heel or on the inside margin of the heel.

Often the pain is worse on first rising in the morning and after rest and is aggravated by prolonged weight bearing & thin soled shoes

 

Heel Pain

Causes of Heel Pain

  • The most common cause of heel pain is over pronation, this is when your foot rotates in too much as you walk. You really need to treat the underlying cause of the heel pain as soon as possible to prevent any further damage to the plantar fascia. View the Dr Foot Sport Insoles which are for sport shoes or the Dr Foot Pro Insoles for everyday shoes.
  • Excessive load on the foot from obesity is a major cause of plantar fasciitis. Which is why this condition is common in middle aged and over weight adults.
  • A sudden increase in weight, such as pregnancy can also lead to plantar fascitis. In such cases a soft comfortable heel cushion works wonders, view the product here
  • A sudden increase in walking or a sporting activity can also be a contributing factor. A classic example of when this condition can develop is when a post man has returned to work after a period away from the job.
  • Tight plantar fascia (this is often caused by tight calf muscles). One of the most effective methods of stretching the fascia to speed up recovery is by using a unique product called the FXT night splint which allows you to sleep comfortably while gently stretching out the plantar fascia. View the product here
  • Excessive flattening of the arch on weight bearing i.e. flat feet. People with flat feet are more at risk of developing this condition, a simple orthotic in the shoe can prevent and treat heel pain for people with flat feet. View product here
  • Biomechanical problems (walking abnormalities) is a major cause of plantar fasciitis.
  • Different types of arthritis can also lead to this condition, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatment for Heel Pain

  • Orthotics- One of the most effective treatment options. View the Dr Foot Pro Insoles.

  • Silicone Heel Cups- Treats morning heel pain and provides excellent support and pain relief. This product combines a pressure relieving heel spur cavity with a well designed heel cup.
  • Reusable Hot and Cold Gel Packs- Proven therapy for plantar fasciitis by alternating application of hot and cold, coupled with massage, works wonders to relieve pain, reduce swelling and promote healing. Use ice pack in the morning and heat pack in the evening.
  • Plantar Fascia Night Splints - Immobilizes and stretches fascia and can be effective if used for several weeks. It holds the foot and toes in a flexed position throughout the night, stretching the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon to relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis. Several scientific studies of night time splints report complete relief after 4-12 weeks of wear.
  • Stretching exercises for plantar fascia and Achilles tendon - Can provide effective results if combined with other treatment options. (click here to view recommended exercises)
  • Stretching aids- The Pro Stretch stretches the foot in the proper position to relieve heel pain. One of the most effective treatment options for plantar Fasciitis is stretching. Tightness in the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles increases the prevalence of plantar Fasciitis. This is due to tightening in these muscles, which increases dorsiflexion (upward movement) of the large toe and stretches the plantar fascia causing it to inflame. click here to view product.
  • Ultrasound and Lasers- Found to have little or no benefit.
  • NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)- These treat the symptoms and provide temporary relief but do not treat the underlying cause.
  • Steroid/local anesthetic injection- Not one of our preferred treatment options, click here to view image.
  • Surgery- 'Open' or endoscopic plantar fascia release. No good evidence of effectiveness and complications include increased pain, nerve injury, fascial rupture and infection.
  • Heel Protector - Shock Absorption and Ankle Support in one lightweight unit! The Heel Protector is a dynamic and revolutionary new combination of Heel Cups shock absorption technology and the comfort and stability of a lightweight neoprene ankle support. View Here
  • The Dr Foot Pro Insoles with a 4 degree medial (inside) the heel is the most ideal treatment but you can also use bespoke orthotic flip flops during the summer and especially around the house which can have a medial wedge built into them also a supportive arch support to take pressure away from the inflamed fascia. View Here

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"I love the Dr Foot Sports Insoles! I am an avid runner, with over-pronation and a family history of foot and leg pain. The Dr Foot Sports Insoles make running possible for me. I've tried many other insoles and none of them work as well as Dr Foot. I'm currently training for my second marathon, and my Dr. Foot Sports Insoles are protecting me from injury. Thank you!"


Miss Smith Michigan, USA