Heel pain often causes extreme foot pain, especially in the morning when you first attempt to step out of bed. This burst of discomfort can really set your day out on the wrong ‘foot,’ but it doesn’t have to. Understanding the cause of your heel pain is the first step to obtaining treatment to relieve the discomfort.
Why Heel Pain?
A large proportion of our body weight sits on our heels while we are standing or walking. Improper footwear and occupations that have you standing on hard surfaces for extended periods of time could cause extra stress on your heels.
There are 26 bones in your foot, and the heel bone or calcaneus is the largest of them all. Our heels are designed to absorb our body pressure as we walk and run, which makes it the most susceptible to damage—and makes it an important consideration when purchasing shoes!
Treatment for Heel Pain
The specific cause of your heel pain will be determined by your podiatrist. Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are two common causes of foot pain, and each requires different forms of treatment. The treatment of your heel pain will be determined based upon factors such as the intensity of the pain, the specific placement of the pain, and whether it is chronic or a new injury. An x-ray examination is often recommended to help determine the cause of heel pain and the best treatment options.
Prevention of Heel Pain
While it is not always possible to prevent an injury, you can do your best to limit the discomfort that you are experiencing or prevent further injury.
- Invest in a pair of proper shoes that help dissipate the impact on your heels as you walk.
- When you are home, don’t walk around barefoot on the cold tile. Instead, wear sandals or slippers that offer cushioning to your heel.
- If you are standing for long periods, try to change the way that you position your weight to provide relief from your heels every once in a while.