Pain in the heels of the feet is a common condition that affects many people in the UK. The pain can grow gradually over time and is often worse when you place any weight on the heel that is affected. In most cases of heel pain, only one foot is affected. However, there are cases in which people feel pain in both heels. The pain in the heel is typically worse in the mornings or after an extended period of rest. Moving around and warming your foot up usually helps improve the sensation, but it can get worse after standing or walking for a long period of time.
Below, we are going to take a look at one of the most common conditions that can cause pain in the heels of your feet and the treatments that are available to you if you have the condition. We do encourage you to get your feet seen to by a foot doctor, even if you do think you have the condition below. A specialist can confirm your suspicions and then work out a treatment program ideally suited to you and your lifestyle. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the possible causes of heel pain.
The possible causes of heel pain
In most cases of heel pain, the pain is caused when a band of tissue which runs under your foot, from your toes to your heel, gets damaged and thickens. This band of tissue is called the Plantar Fascia and the condition is called Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia acts like a kind of shock absorber for your foot. Sudden damage or damage that develops over months or years may cause tears to form in the tissue. When the tears begin to form, the tissue thickens, as a way of protecting itself, this is what is causing the pain.
Treating the pain in your heel
There are a number of ways in which a doctor may recommend to treat the pain in your heel. Some of these treatments are:
- Well-fitted shoes
- Pain relief
- Using supportive devices
Most cases of heel pain will usually clear up in about a year if you follow your doctor’s advice. We understand that having the pain in your heel for this length of time is very frustrating and so in 1 in 20 cases of heel pain (when the treatments above have no effect) surgery is used to release and repair the plantar fascia.
When you should see a foot doctor
If you have had pain in your heel for a few weeks or more then it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a foot specialist. They can take a look at your medical history, speak with you about your life and examine the foot and then give you a diagnosis and the correct treatment option.
To find out more about other common foot conditions that affect different areas of your foot, please take a look at the other articles on our blog. We have plenty of articles related to common foot problems on here that you may find useful.