Pain in the heel is one of the most common complaints we see. In fact, according to studies, over 2 million people suffer from this condition yearly. Why is it so common? Is it because we are an active society and put too much stress on our feet? The answer to this question is yes but there is more to it than that.
The type of heel pain we are referring to is the pain someone would feel on the bottom of their heel (pain in the back of the heel is a whole different condition). Pain on the bottom of the heel is usually present when you first step out of bed. It is also present when you get up after sitting for a while or after you have been on your feet for a while.
This condition is usually a strain and inflammation of a large ligament that attaches to the heel bone. The strain can come from overuse, excessive weight, and/or from wearing unsupportive shoes just to name a few. There is a specific foot structure and movement of the foot that predisposes one to the strain. If your arches are flat, or if you like to go without shoes around the house or just wear shoes that are flat, you are at a higher risk for developing this condition.
Regardless of your gender, weight, age, or activity level, you could still be at risk. People who stand all day such as nurses, teachers, etc. have a greater risk of developing pain in the heel. If you stand all day in shoes that are flat and your arches are flatter than normal, your chance of developing heel pain dramatically increases.
Treatment of heel pain can be very easy or quite challenging. It usually depends on how soon someone with the problem decides to seek professional help. Unfortunately, the average time it takes for someone to consult a specialist is three months. If treated within one month, heel pain can often be eliminated in one or two visits. Waiting longer than a month to be treated increases the risk of developing a dreaded condition that involves scar tissue formation.
There are several things you can do to help prevent heel pain. (1) Wear shoes or supportive sandals at home rather than going barefoot. (2) Keep your weight under control. (3) Wear high-quality athletic shoes such as New Balance, Brooks, Hoka or Asics when exercising or standing a lot.
If you are experiencing pain in your heel don’t wait another day to come in and get it treated. The solution is easier to achieve, the earlier the pain is addressed.
For more information on heel pain, download our free e-book here or watch our video below on how we treat heel pain differently.