Heel pain is a common condition in which bearing weight on the heel causes extreme discomfort. There are two categories of heel pain: heel pain syndrome and plantar fasciitis.
Heel Pain Syndrome
Excessive impact on the heel of the foot creates a type of pain often referred to as “heel pain syndrome.” This impact produces a bruising-type pain in a specific area. This condition is commonly caused from:
- Shoes with little to no shock absorption in the heel
- A thinning or shifting of heel pad tissue
- A sudden increase in activity
The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of the foot from the heel to the forefoot. A biomechanical dysfunction within the foot produces excessive stress to the plantar fascia, which can lead to inflammation and discomfort usually caused by:
- Overpronation or hyperflexibility
- Unusually high-arched feet
- Overuse or a sudden increase in physical activity of the foot
- Excessive weight on the foot due to obesity, pregnancy or lifting heavy loads
- Climbing ladders without the use of proper shoes and support
- Improperly fitted footwear
When you wear improperly fitted footwear, if the arch of the shoe doesn’t fully secure the arch of the foot, then the foot’s arch isn’t properly supported. Plantar Fasciitis may develop.
Plantar fasciitis and heel pain are the most common foot pain complaints. Plus, they are the easiest to heal and prevent. Proper treatment and prevention of plantar fasciitis or heel pain includes a custom-fitted ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotic for support, stability, and the improvement of balance and posture. Each ezWalker® Orthotic is custom fit to the specifications of your individual feet. So, the arches of each foot are independently secured, providing the arch with the best possible support, stability and balance. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics also aid in the healing and prevention of Plantar fasciitis and heel pain.
Other treatment options include:
- New, HTP heel seats for healing heel pain.
- Ice/heat therapy to reduce inflammation and speed healing.
The root cause of heel pain is hard to determine. It’s important that the fascia remain in an elongated position while healing to avoid reinjury upon bearing weight again. Therefore, it’s recommended that a night splint be worn during long periods of rest and sleep.
Also, you should never go barefoot during the healing process since the foot should be supported at all times during healing. Many comfort clog type shoes with a built-in arch support are good for use around the house to avoid going barefoot. However, ezWalker® Custom Orthotics can also be used in slippers since these types of shoes generally provide no foot support. Follow these recommendations and allow plenty of time for healing to take place. It usually takes twice as long to heal the pain compared to the amount of time you’ve suffered from the condition.
Make sure you are fitting your shoes correctly. Your feet are constantly changing as you age. Have your fit checked regularly; and remember the size on the measuring device is only a reference. Mass-manufactured shoes are NOT all created equal. Refer to the Shoe Fitting Reference Guide for proper guidelines on how to best fit your shoes.
If you follow these guidelines and your pain persists, you must seek the counsel of a physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment.