Heel pain, or plantar fasciitis, is prevalent in adults and not unheard of in active children. The cause of this pain is when the large band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. Inflammation occurs for several reasons:
- Some examples of overuse include walking a lot on the same hard surface; suddenly increasing your speed or mileage when you go out for a run; having a job that requires you to spend many hours a day on your feet – nursing, retail sales, or server in a restaurant, for example.
- The bottom of your feet can become stressed from bearing more weight than designed to carry.
- Arch problems. Feet with naturally high arches or no arches (flat feet) are prime for developing plantar fasciitis.
- A tight Achilles tendon. The Achilles is the thick tendon just above the back of your heel. It connects your heel to your calf. When the Achilles is too tight, it stresses the plantar fascia. If your calf muscle also tends to be tight, that can make plantar fasciitis worse.
- The plantar fascia can begin to break down from normal aging. We see it especially in active people between the ages of 40 and 70.
- Pregnancy and its accompanying weight gain may also provoke a case of plantar fasciitis.
- Shoes with inadequate support.
- Sever’s disease, a problem with the heel’s growth plate that we see in active children.
Whatever the cause of your heel pain, know that you don’t have to endure it forever. Plenty of treatment options exist. As is the case with many foot problems, the sooner you treat plantar fasciitis or Sever’s disease, the quicker you’ll see results. Home treatment options such as rest, icing, stretching, and weight loss will most likely do the trick. Relief may not happen overnight, but with consistency, you should see results.
However, if your heel pain persists and prevents you from performing daily activities, contact board-certified podiatrist Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center for professional, caring, proven treatment options. Call (703) 996-3000 or make an appointment online.