How to treat Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Why do you feel heel pain?

Complaints for heel or foot pain are more common than you think. Many people experience it at some stage of their lives, and become concerned about the possible causes and how complex or even painful treatment could be. Of course, there are many conditions and types of injury that can underlie foot pain, but in most cases the solution is much simpler than it seems.

Heel pain is a common condition that affects many people, especially those who are at increased risk due to their feet features and/or lifestyle. In other words, some people are more vulnerable to painful feet conditions. 

Our feet are made out of an arch of several bones put together to form a very specific structure which has the purpose of supporting the weight of our whole body. We also have soft tissue, like adipose padding and elasticfibers called plantar fascia, that connect the back and the front of our feet. They keep the structure in place and absorb the impact caused by weight and motion.

The structure of our feet is very delicate because it is always under mechanical stress. When we jump, walk, run or even stand, they are supporting forces that might become too strong for them to take, and that's when they become injured, and hurt.

Possible causes of your heel pain

There are two common conditions that may cause throbbing, intermitent heel pain, and they are both related. Let's explore them a little further.

Plantar fasciitis

This is ofthe the main condition behind your heel pain, so what is plantar fasciitis? To put it simple, it is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. If you remember, plantar fascia are strings of tissue in the sole of your feet. They are elastic and stretch every time you support weight or a physical impact on your soles. If they become overstressed, they start ripping and this causes the pain. You can find out what plantar fasciitis is here.

Calcaneal spur

A calcaneal spur, also known as heel spur, is a small spike of bone that grows inwards from your heel bone. It throbs your flesh from the inside and causes you pain. Few people know that calcaneal spurs are actually caused by plantar fasciitis, and they don't need any surgery. When pantar fasciitis is relieved, the calcaneal spur disappears on its own. In other words, in order to get rid of a heel spur, you have to learn How to treat Plantar Fasciitis.

Treatments for heel pain

If you feel throbbing pain on one or both of your heels, which is stronger after you wake up or spend a long time sitting down, you might have plantar fasciitis and/or a calcaneal spur. A doctor should be able to confirm this diagnosis. Could you have Plantar Fasciitis? If you feel this sort of pain you should get checked, treatment is very easy and the condition is absolutely curable. No surgery is necessary in the vast majority of cases and the only medication you might need is regular antiinflammatories and/or painkillers.

Most effective treatments for plantar fasciitis are close to being home remedies; you can apply them by yourself with little to no investment. There are no special medications or therapies for plantar fasciitis, just some exercises and measures you can take. Plantar fascia and calcaneal spurs heal by themselves, without the need of a direct intervention. All you have to do is stop doing whatever it is that is hurting your feet - hard imapct physical activity, carrying too much weight, etc. - and applying pain and inflammation control measurements. 

What your doctor will certainly advise you to do is to use orthotic insoles. Insoles for plantar fasciitis treatment do not require any special design or structure, just regular insoles that hold your foot arches will do. You can get off-the-shelf insoles to relieve your plantar fasciitis, so you won't need to spend money on custom made orthotics.

Some of these orthotics also have special cushioning and/or a hole under your heel, this is intended to help reduce the pain in the short term. But the real solution comes from the arch support these orthotics provide. Since plantar fascia's lesions come from overstressing and overstretching, using extra support will relieve them and help them heal. 

This is why people with flat foot or fallen arches are at higher risk of having plantar fasciitis. If you have flat foot, you should use orthotic insoles as a preventive measure so you don't develop either plantar fasciitis or a calcaneal spur. These are painful conditions that take quite a long time to heal, so it's better to be safe than sorry!

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