Does your heel hurt?
Pain below the heel is most commonly caused by plantar fasciitis. The most common cause of heel pain and hence, approximately 2 million patients are treated for plantar fasciitis each year. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people experience plantar fasciitis at some point in their life.
Overworking the tissue band (facia) connecting the heel across the foot to the base of the toe, (often done when running or jumping) can cause inflammation. This pain radiates from under the heel and is felt when the fascia thickens as a result of micro-tears over time. Pain from plantar fasciitis may be mild, to begin with, but can increase in intensity and will flare up with overuse.
Heel pain such as plantar fasciitis is most commonly caused by wear and tear and is more frequent among runners, dancers, people who play sports requiring jumping, or people who spend an excessive amount of time on their feet. It can also be caused by sudden damage. In many cases, it is a combination of a sudden, sometimes mild injury, and then continued use. There is a higher risk of plantar fasciitis among those who are obese, have jobs that require long periods of standing, or wear unsupportive shoes.
How is heel pain treated?
The feet are arguably one of the hardest working parts of the body. Every day we land on our two feet with the full force of our body weight during normal gait. Additionally, we run, jump, dance, and otherwise add additional force to our feet and especially our heels. Many people experience symptoms of heel pain and either try to ignore the pain or hope that it goes away on its own. In some cases, rest is enough to allow the body to heal. In other instances, there is a larger cause of heel pain and continued daily use can lead to a chronic condition. Heel pain can be caused by several issues and it is ideal to be seen by a specialist who can help properly diagnose the cause and help develop an effective treatment strategy. The doctors at Sports Foot and Ankle specialize in heel pain treatment for patients from Vail, Colorado, and the surrounding Eagle, Vail Mountain Ranges.