Heel Pain Treatment
Heel pain is a common condition in which weight bearing on the heel causes extreme discomfort. Call our podiatrist practice in either Hartford or Rocky Hill for more detailed information on heel pain and to request an appointment.
Causes of Heel Pain
There are two different categories of heel pain. The first is caused by an overuse of the heel and repetitive stress. Overuse and repetitive stress refers to a soreness resulting from too much impact on a specific area of the foot. This condition, often referred to as “heel pain syndrome”, can be caused from shoes with heels that are too low, a thinned out fat pad in the heel area or from a sudden increase in activity upon your foot.
Plantar fasciitis, a very common diagnosis of heel pain, is usually caused from a biomechanical problem, such as over-pronation (flat feet). The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of the foot, from the heel through the midfoot and into the forefoot. Over-pronation can cause the plantar fascia to be excessively stretched and inflamed, resulting in pain in the heel and arch areas of the foot. Often the pain will be most intense first thing in the morning or after a prolonged period of rest. The pain will gradually subside as the day progresses.
Heel Pain Treatment & Prevention
To properly treat heel pain, you must absorb shock, provide cushioning and elevate the heel to transfer pressure. This can be accomplished with a heel cup, visco heel cradle, or an orthotic which is custom designed with materials that will absorb shock and shear forces.Another critical factor in relieving pain associated with plantar fasciitis is proper stretching of the plantar fascia. Usually a combination of the above interventions will usually help cure plantar fasciitis and avoid surgical intervention.
When the condition is pronation related (usually plantar fasciitis), an orthotic with medial posting and good arch support will control the pronation, and prevent the inflammation of the plantar fascia. At the Hartford Podiatry Group we use cutting edge computer technology to help control over pronation with a computer generated orthotic.
Footwear selection is also an important criteria when treating heel pain. Shoes with a firm heel counter, good arch support, and appropriate heel height will be the ideal choice.
If the problem persists, please call us to schedule an appointment in our Hartford or Rocky Hill offices.
For more information on Heel Pain in the Hartford or Rocky Hill, CT area, call Hartford Podiatry Group at 860-523-8026!
Plantar Fascia Stretching Exercises
The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscles to the calcaneus (heel bone). The tendon continues as a long band of fibers extending to the ball of the foot to support your arch, this is the plantar fascia. A tight Achilles tendon is a common problem among many people. It can be the cause of a number of secondary problems such as:
- Abnormalities in the way you walk
- Achilles Tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon)
- Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Spur Syndrome)
- Flat foot (excessive pronation)
Stretching is a very important preventative and therapeutic modality. The following stretching exercises will increase the length of the tendon and may eliminate the risk of any associated secondary problems.
1. Step Stretch
Stand and face the stairs with both feet firmly planted on the last step and hold the handrails. Place the ball of one foot at the end of the step and push your heel downward until you feel a nice stretch in your calf. Hold for 10 seconds; then relax and switch to the opposite leg. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each side, 3 times a day.
2. Wall Stretch
Stand at arms length from the wall with your back knee locked and your front knee bent. Slowly press forward by bending your arms until a moderate stretch is felt in the calf muscle of your straight leg. Keep both heels on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each side, 3 times a day.
3. Towel Stretch
Roll a medium size towel lengthwise tightly (or use a bathrobe tie, belt or tension band). Place it around the ball of your foot with your knee straight. Pull the towel with both of your arms using even pressure until a moderate stretch is felt in the back of the calf muscle. Do 10 repetitions with your knee straight, then 10 with your knee bent, alternating legs, 3 times a day.
4. Bottle Stretch
Sit in a chair. Place a can or water bottle on the floor. Roll your foot slowly with even pressure from your heel to the ball of your foot, back and forth. Roll 20 times for each foot, 3 times a day. You may even use a frozen bottle instead for a better effect.