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Struggling With Heel Pain? Here Are Some Possible Causes And Treatments

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Heel pain is a frustrating condition because it interferes with your ability to walk, work, and stay mobile. There are several causes of heel pain. The first step is to locate the exact area of pain, as this can help diagnose the problem. Here are a few possible causes for your heel pain and what you can do to relieve it. 

Pain On The Back Of Your Heel

When the pain is located on the back of your heel, it could be your Achilles tendon that is inflamed. This tendon runs down your calf to your foot, and it can be irritated by running or other strenuous exercise, especially if you suddenly start exercising more than you normally do. If the pain in your heel doesn't clear up with rest and ice, you should see a podiatrist for treatment. You'll likely be taught exercises that stretch the muscles in your calf as well as the Achilles tendon. These exercises strengthen your tendon and relieve tension that causes pain. In addition, your podiatrist may prescribe shoe inserts. A heel cup may help by supporting your heel and reducing strain on your tendon while you walk.

Pain On The Bottom Of Your Heel

Pain on the bottom of your heel could have a simple cause, such as a stone bruise. When you step on a rock, you may bruise the tissue in the pad of your heel even though the bruise isn't visible. If you remember a painful incident of stepping on something while walking, you may just need to allow time for the bruise to heal and go away. It should only take a few days. Applying ice may help relieve pain.

If the pain under your heel has lasted a long time and seems to be worse when you start walking after resting for a while, the problem could be plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the tissue that runs under the bottom of your foot. Several things cause this condition. It could be due to arch malformations in your foot, standing for long hours on concrete, aerobic exercises, wearing shoes that don't support your arches, and even obesity. The plantar fascia supports the arch in your foot, and it acts as a shock absorber. Too much stress on it causes tiny tears that lead to inflammation and pain. 

Rest, stretching exercises, and ice help the tears heal, but you also need to know the cause of the injury so you can avoid it in the future. Your podiatrist will probably recommend wearing supportive shoes and inserts that support the arch of your foot and protect your heel. You may even need to wear foot splints at night to keep your calf extended so you don't feel so much pain in your heel when you start walking in the morning.

If you have chronic pain in your heel, you shouldn't ignore it. Repeated stress on torn tissues keeps them from healing and can lead to bigger problems, such as the development of bone spurs. A visit to a podiatrist ensures you get the correct diagnosis of your problem as well as the most effective treatment for a quick recovery.