While most people have heard of spurs, not many people realize all of the places that you can get them. A common cause of heel pain is a heel spur, which occurs when a calcium deposit builds up on the underside of your heel. Heel spurs are your body’s response to stress and strain placed on your foot ligaments and tendons. For example, when you develop plantar fasciitis, your body responds to the stress by creating a heel spur. You can also develop heel spurs by repeatedly tearing the covering that lines your heel bone or if you have a gait disorder. (A gait disorder is when an illness or condition affects your balance and coordination so you can’t walk as you usually do.) These problematic growths can vary in size and are generally considered to be quite painful, particularly if they are bigger in nature.
Arthritis of the Foot
Another common cause of pain around the body, including the heel, is arthritis. Arthritis is caused by an inflammation of the joints. This can be the cause of heel pain in a few ways. First, it can be arthritis in the local area causing the pain. Second, heel pain can be caused when you end up walking differently because of arthritic pain.
One of the more common causes of heel pain that anyone can experience is simply that of an injury. When you are walking or running, you always run the risk of coming down on your foot wrong. This can result in a stress fracture or other problems in the area. The end result can be heel pain from a direct injury or heel pain from putting different stresses on your foot after an injury in another area.
Though tendonitis is not necessarily specific to the foot, it can be responsible for heel pain. You have plenty of tendons in the area around your heel, which makes it easy for any of them to become inflamed or irritated. When this occurs, you can experience pain in your heel directly or after the fact if the problem is in a nearby area.
Treatments for Heel Pain
Heel pain is a bothersome problem that can dramatically impact how you manage your daily life. It can make you miss out on opportunities that contribute to your active lifestyle. Some people find that it forces them to miss out on times with their family. Others simply lament the constant pain of it that leads them to want to do less and less. Since the majority of us are dependent on being able to walk comfortably to live our lives, when we suddenly find this opportunity compromised, it can be a bit of a shock, which is why people want to find relief as quickly as possible. Fortunately, there are a variety of options available.
Icing and Pain Management
Depending on the cause of your heel pain, you might simply need to treat it like you would any minor injury. Putting ice on the affected heel can help you to reduce swelling, which can in turn help to lessen the pain. Pairing this with over the counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can help reduce the pain and swelling long enough for the problem area to heel. This is a simple and non-invasive approach that most people find ideal.
In the event that the cause of your heel pain is something relating to the use of your foot, you might benefit from physical therapy in some capacity. This generally includes stretching or changing the way that you walk in order to better accommodate your body’s needs. It is a helpful way for you to make sure that you yourself are not putting any unnecessary stress on the body while it heals so that your body can strengthen in all the right areas.
Custom Shoes or Inserts
In the event you have a cause that can be easily triggered through daily activity, your doctor might prescribe you with some additional support in the form of shoe inserts or orthopedic shoes designed to keep you walking correctly. This can reduce the stress placed on your heel so that it cannot only heal but avoid further problems down the line.
For some people, these other methods might not be enough. Steroid injections are an option that can help you to easily conquer the pain and swelling of your heel pain. This targeted approach can help your body to go the extra mile when it comes to allowing the area to heel. While steroid injections might not be the first approach, for some people they are simply the best way to get relief from unpleasant heel pain.
When it comes down to it, heel pain is a nuisance that can influence your life pretty severely. Since this is the case, you always want to make sure that you head over to your local podiatrist if you find yourself experiencing it. As is the case with most physical problems, the sooner the doctor can evaluate and treat the condition, the less chance you have of it getting worse. Finding relief and getting your heel pain treated can help you to literally get back on your feet in no time at all.