What is heel pain?
Heel pain is a common foot condition. It’s usually felt as an intense pain when using the affected heel. Heel pain usually builds up gradually and gets worse over time. The pain is often severe and occurs when you place weight on your heel. This pain originates from the plantar fascia and is also known as plantar faciitis.
The plantar fascia is a tough and flexible band of tissue that runs under the sole of the foot. It connects the heel bone with the bones of the foot, and acts as a kind of shock absorber to the foot. Either Sudden damage or damage over months and years, can cause tiny tears. These tiny tears, or microtears, develop inside the tissue of the plantar fascia. This can cause it to thicken and produce pain. The surrounding tissue and bone can also become inflamed.
What causes heel pain?
An estimated one in 10 people will have at least one episode of pain in their heel at some point in their life. Older adults who are 40-60 years of age and regulars at running are the two main groups affected by this pain. Being overweight in these two main groups can be a contributing factor as well.
How to treat heel pain
Classically following pain relief and rest there are a number of treatments available. Everyone is different and may require vastly different approaches. Treatments for a painful heel can include: