If you are a fitness buff, then you may have heard of the “10,000-step goal.” This is actually promoted by Fitbit as a way to get an individual to achieve the150 minutes minimum of weekly moderate exercise recommended by the Centre of Disease Control of the US to keep a healthy body.
Whether you are able to successfully accomplish this on a daily basis or not, the part of the body that does most of the hard work often gets the littlest care. Unlike the other parts of the body, our feet do not always get some sweet loving and pampering as much as they need. Probably, the only time they get attention is when they get injured or suddenly feel discomfort.
One of the common complaints that patients have is heel pain. If you have tried whatever home remedies recommended online to ease your heel pain and are looking for a more effective alternative, then you have stepped into the right place. This article by PhysioActive will tackle things you need to know about heel pain treatment.
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain can be caused by different factors. It is important to know what the root cause is exactly in order for treatment to be planned out accordingly. Your heel pain may be due to the following:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Reactive arthritis
- Sprains and strains
Among the causes listed above, the most common causes of heel pain are Achilles Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis.
In this article, we will focus more on the heel treatment for Plantar Fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that affects the plantar fascia causing it to become inflamed and feel pain. The plantar fascia is a part of your foot that is composed of a thick band of fibrous ligament that connects the front of the foot to the heel. It serves as a shock absorber whenever activities that require weight to be put on the foot are done, such as jumping, walking, and running.
What is the cause of heel pain in the plantar fascia?
The real cause is yet to be determined, although a study done in 2003 and published in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information of the US National Library of Medicine proposed that the cause of heel pain to the plantar fascia may be linked to chronic degeneration rather than inflammation.
What are the factors that can lead to the degeneration of the plantar fascia causing heel pain?
Some of the factors that can lead to the plantar fascia’s degeneration are:
- Biomechanical irregularities
- Conditions affecting the muscle, such as weakening or tightening of tissues
- Flat feet or overpronation
- Inappropriate or poor choice of footwear
- Obesity or recent weight gain
What are the symptoms of heel pain?
Patients who complain of plantar fasciitis or heel pain often mention the following symptoms:
- Burning pain in the heel that reaches the bottom of the foot
- Dull or sharp in the heel’s bottom
- Dull or sharp in the mid-foot area
Who are most likely to be at risk of experiencing heel pain?
Anyone can experience heel pain, but those who are at high risk of developing this condition are the following:
- Adults that are within the age of 40 and 70 involved in active lifestyles
- Individuals that have flat foot or feet
- Individuals with foot that have high arches
- Individuals with jobs that require standing for long hours
- Individuals that are overweight or obese
- Individuals that have tight Achilles tendons
- Pregnant women
Also, heel pain or plantar fasciitis is observed more in women than men.
What heel pain treatment can be considered to address this condition?
Chronic heel pain can be a hassle. Aside from the discomfort it brings, it also affects a person’s daily productivity and overall wellness. It is vital that heel pain is addressed during its early stages as this brings more chances of a successful recovery.
There are two effective ways used by PhysioActive for heel pain treatment. These are:
- Shockwave Therapy
Orthotics remains to be the first option for heel pain treatment. Orthotics is a form of medical device prescribed by doctors that is designed to be worn inside the shoes in order to improve any biomechanical issues or pain affecting the foot. This is usually used together with treatments, such as muscle exercises and stretches to be even more effective.
Shockwave Therapy, on the other hand, makes use of clear high-energy sound waves that are produced by a shockwave generator. When applied to the foot, the sound waves bring rapid extreme pressure to the treatment area, which is then followed by negative pressure. Throughout the treatment, a patient will feel a pulsating sensation on the areas where the shockwave device is administered to. This can be uncomfortable for some, but the discomfort is rather mild and tolerable.
Heel pain or plantar fasciitis is curable. Most feel pain resolve on their own within two days. If your case does not go away after a 48 hours and is already causing you too much pain and discomfort, then it is strongly recommended that you see a doctor immediately as chronic heel pain that is not addressed immediately can lead to long term injury.
Camden Medical Centre #11-05
+65 6235 2647