Pain in the heel of the foot can come about suddenly and cause real misery when walking. Heel pain may be caused by an inflamed tendon, bursitis, a bone spur, or plantar fasciitis. It can also be caused by injury or rheumatoid arthritis. Pinpointing the source of heel pain helps to find relief. Common sources of heel pain are repetitive stress caused by over-exercising or wearing shoes without adequate support. Heel pain can often be improved by taking preventive measures.
Heel pain caused by inflamed tendon or achilles tendinitis
An inflamed tendon can cause pain in the feet from the front of the heel to the balls of the foot. These delicate tendons can become inflamed because of overuse, repetitive stress or wearing poorly fitting or unsupportive shoes. The Achilles tendon connects the back of the heel to the calf muscles. It can become sore and swollen due to foot injuries caused by exercising without stretching, wearing improper shoes, or running and jogging on hard surfaces.
Foot pain from bursitis
The fluid-filled sacs that reduce the friction between tendon and bone are called bursae. They can become inflamed from poorly-fitting shoes, causing a painful heel. Landing hard on the heels after a high jump or fall can cause an injured foot, resulting in bursitis. In the case of an injury, rest and ice may help. If bursitis is caused by improper walking, a shoe insert may be needed.
Heel and foot bone spur and plantar fascia pain
Heel pain upon taking the first morning steps is often a symptom of plantar fasciitis. The pain is created by stress placed on the bottom of the foot. It can have many causes ranging from weight gain to improper shoe support. This condition is related to heel spurs that are bony fragments which may form on the ball of the foot due to stress and pressure. Shoes that are inflexible, walking or standing for long hours or injury are some causes of plantar fasciitis. Many times, the cause is unknown.
Self-care and preventive measures for heel pain
Most heel pain can be relieved by wearing comfortable shoes. Remedies for foot pain may include wearing supportive arch insoles or heel pads. Foot pains can also be helped by stretching and strengthening exercises for the feet. Applying ice may relieve sore feet. If foot pain persists, foot doctors can help to diagnose the problem.
There are many products and shoes specifically designed to help to correct or relieve heel pain. Dr. Scholl's makes a variety of shoes and shoe inserts, such as heel pads and massaging insoles that provide relief for a number of people suffering from foot pain. The website Footsmart also sells shoes and products for heel pain sufferers.
References - Dr. Scholls: Drscholls.com - Footsmart:Footsmart.com