Heel pain/plantar fasciitis

Any part of the body that starts to hurt can hinder your day-to-day function and heel pain is no different. Be it standing, walking or running, they can all be painful if your heel hurts. Heel pain, or plantar fasciitis, is quite a common problem for many people.

 

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Anything that ends with the suffix “itis” means inflammation in Latin and plantar fascia is the ligament that is running beneath the foot and is connected to the heel bone and toes. Therefore, when there is inflammation of this ligament, it is called plantar fasciitis.

 

The arch of the foot is formed by this ligament and it works as the body’s natural shock absorber while we are walking. This is the part which absorbs all of the shock with every step. The plantar fascia is not stretchable like our muscles, therefore any extra traction can cause it to get become irritated or inflamed. This causes pain and if it gets severely damaged, then it can cause severe pain.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis occur when the middle, front or side of the heel bone starts to hurt.

The pain becomes quite intense especially after sitting for a long while or after getting out of bed in the morning. This is because of the ligaments and muscles in the foot have been contracted and tightened up for a long period. The pain will start to subside after some walking and as the ligament starts to loosen up. If the condition is severe, it can also cause swelling around the heel area.

 

Causes of heel pain

The stretching and traction of the ligament plantar fascia causes heel pain but what causes that to happen in the first place? There could be a lot of factors such as the following:

 

Weight gain

There is a certain amount of weight our knees and feet can carry to function properly; but if a person gains a significant amount of weight, it increases the pressure on the bones, muscles, nerves and ligaments.  This is a warning from the body to maintain a healthy weight, otherwise it can seriously affect your feet.

 

Overuse

Being physically over active, such as over-exercising or playing sports for prolonged periods, can also cause one to have heel pain.

 

Old age

Our body starts to naturally weaken with age and if someone has bone problems such as arthritis, that can also cause heel pain.

 

Bad footwear

If you are wearing poor quality footwear, then it can cause heel pain. Always buy shoes that can support your heel properly. Wearing heeled shoes for hours every day can cause heel pain as well.

 

Walking barefoot

Walking barefoot on the grass is good, but walking barefoot on hard surfaces can cause the heels to hurt.

 

Treatment

 

If you are suffering from heel pain, whether it is mild or severe, it is best to see a doctor so that you get proper treatment as soon as possible. Dr. Parikh, at Health ONE Family Medicine, has years of experience treating heel pain. To make an appointment, visit http://www.healthonemedicine.com/ or call (469)262-5762.

Author
Health One Family Medicine

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