Heel Pain: What You Need To Know
Living in our modern society means we tend to be constantly active or are often sedentary for hours at a time due to work. In Western society, we often consult chiropractors, physiotherapists or massage therapists to help elevate stress from our body. In Eastern philosophy, feet are viewed as a highly sensitive and an important facet of the body. We often forget how important our feet are and tend to wear shoes that are incorrectly sized or uncomfortable for fashion purposes.
Over 50% of Australians will experience heel pain at some point in their life. Here at StepEase Podiatry we are driven to helping our patients understand, assist and analyse individuals needs when it comes to Podiatry injuries and health.
One of the key signs that your feet are injured occurs when you start to feel pain on your heel of your feet. These symptoms often mean that unnecessary pressure and strain have been placed on this area often causing a plethora of problems. These symptoms often present themselves internally making it is more difficult to understand what exactly is causing the source of your pain.
Common causes of heel pain are often limited to two specific areas. The most common source of irritation comes from the bottom of your heel clinically known as the plantar fasciitis or the back of the heel also known as Achilles Tendonitis. The level of discomfort is intensified if a micro tear, heel spur or Achilles tendon rupture occurs. This additional strain causes not just discomfort in the area but can spread to other areas if left untreated. This can cause back pain, knee pain and hip pain to occur as a side effect to the real issue.
Our bodies often try to adjust to injuries by working harder at using muscles and tissue that are undamaged. Which can often lead to more damage and more time spent having to rest, going to physicians and loss of income.
There are various at home or clinical treatments for these conditions.
- One common misconception is that you can use just a heat or ice pack to fix the heel pain. We suggest using a heat pack in the morning and an ice pack in the evening to stimulate healing and reduce tension. This shocks the nervous system by utilising polar opposite remedies, meaning the receptors are working to create a balance.
- When using a heat or ice pack, it is best that you are in a relaxed position with your heel raised slightly to reduce blood flow to the area. You should only use the packs in 20-minute intervals as this has been found to be the most conducive for healing.
There are also exercises you can complete, while sitting in a chair, to strengthen the bottom of your heel and Achilles.
- The first exercise is while sitting in a chair, roll a water bottle or cylindrically shaped object under your feet for a minute at a time while alternating each foot.
- Secondly, you can stretch your toes by crossing over your legs, grabbing your big toe and gently pulling it towards you in 15 to 30 second intervals.
- The last in-home remedy is to grab a towel and fold it lengthways to create an exercise strap. Grab the towel firmly with both hands and while placing your foot into the strap, gently pull the tops of your feet towards you, holding for 30 seconds at a time.
With all of these exercises it is crucial to help rebuild the muscle mass without creating further damage. If you are experiencing excruciating pain, cease the exercises and contact either your Podiatrist.
As our feet come in a variety of sizes and widths it can often be difficult to find a shoe that supports your unique shape. Standard sizing is difficult with many brands now creating shoes that are not just universally sized but also have different widths available.
It has been proven that over the last 300 years our feet size has increased dramatically in comparison to other aspects such as height. This evolutionary development has meant designers have had to start creating new lines that correlate with this change.
It is often quite difficult to find a shoe that is supportive yet stylish as well. Some people have quite high arches whereas others have flat foot. This is where the use of orthopaedic supports is a highly advantageous solution. When you have a custom orthotic created, its sole purpose is to create greater support for your feet and deflect the high pressure areas. These orthotics are often able to be transferred to numerous shoes, meaning you get a greater return for your outlay. If you are a member of a private health fund, depending on your cover, you can claim these back for medical purposes.
At Step Ease Podiatry, we offer consultations with one of our highly skilled podiatrists. This allows us to individually treat your condition and provide guidance and assistance to alleviate or manage the pain. This includes treatment plans individually tailored to your personal needs. This is important to us as we understand the bio-mechanical need for each person differs vastly.
To achieve the best results, we encourage you to book a consultation to decide on the best course of treatment for your ailments. Alternatively you can also visit our store and speak to a podiatrist online to help assist you in product selection depending on your presenting condition. As this is a virtual service, our staff are able to help you wherever you are located in Australia.
Your health is the most important aspect of your life and we want to help you maintain the best version of yourself.