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Heel Pain Tips

Heel Pains - Know Reasons Behind It!

Heel Pains - Know Reasons Behind It!

Heel pains can be extremely annoying. Most people experience the pain either behind the heel or just under it. Heel pain can affect anyone, irrespective of their age and sex. The pain, though common, seldom poses a threat or any serious health complications.

Factors responsible for heel pain

Walking, running or exercise, the heel bone or calcaneus bears the maximum stress. It acts as a shield and provides strong support to the body. However, an injury, infection, or some medical conditions can affect (damage) the heel, resulting in a mild to severe pain. Heel pain can be triggered by;

Plantar Fasciitis: It is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of plantar fascia (tissue connecting the tip of the foot to the heel). The inflammation mainly results from overstretched plantar fascia. Tight calf muscles (Achilles tendons), obesity, strenuous physical activities, faulty footwear or flat feet can overstretch the plantar fascia.

  1. Posterior tibial neuralgia or Tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS): TTS is a painful compression neuropathy (ankle or foot) where there is compression of the tibial nerve.
  2. Heel bursitis: In heel bursitis, the retrocalcaneal bursa (located at the back of the heel) gets inflamed. Excessive pressure from the footwear or improper landing on the heel acts as a catalyst, resulting in the inflammation. In heel bursitis, one experiences the pain behind the heel or deep within the heel.

 Severe inflammation of the heel pain

  1. Achilles tendinitis: In Achilles tendinitis, there is an injury to the Achilles tendon (tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf bone). Continuous and repeated stress and pressure on the Achilles tendon cause the injury. Though anyone can be affected by Achilles tendinitis, it mostly affects runners and sports person.
  2. Sever's disease: Common among children (7-15 years), Sever's disease occurs when there is an inflammation of the epiphyseal plate (growth plate) in the heel.
  3. Heel bumps: It results from an excessive rubbing of the immature heel bone. Teenagers are mostly affected by this. Heel bumps can also affect ladies wearing high heels while their heel bones are yet not matured.
  4. Conditions like, Gout, Bone cyst, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Bone inflammation due to infection (Osteomyelitis), Peripheral neuropathy, Morton's neuroma can also cause the heel pain.

Treatment and Prevention:
Seek medical assistance in case of

  1. Heel pain accompanied by fever, swelling, and numbness.
  2. Pain that lasts longer than usual.
  3. Difficulty in bending the foot downwards.
  4. The heel pains even when you are resting.

Treatment:

  1. Physiotherapy is the best way to deal with heel pain.
  2. Corticosteroids.
  3. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also effective against heel pain.
  4. Assistive devices such as Insoles and orthotics can help speed up the healing process.
  5. Night splints, fitted to the foot and the calf at night (before sleep) can provide great relief.
  6. In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended.

Remember to

  1. Rest as much as possible.
  2. Go for proper fitted, good quality footwear.
  3. Apply ice compress on the affected area.
  4. Maintain a healthy body weight.
  5. A proper warm-up prior to any sports activities or exercise.

Plantar Fasciitis - An Overview!

Plantar Fasciitis - An Overview!

There are many conditions that can affect the foot. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar belt is the level band of tissue (tendon) that can give your heel unresolved issue toes. It forms the curve of your foot. In the event that you strain your plantar belt, it gets powerless, swollen, and chafed (excited). Mobility also becomes an issue in such cases. At this point, your heel or the base of your foot will hurt when you try to stand or walk.

Plantar fasciitis is commonly found in middle-aged people. It also affects elderly individuals who are constantly on their feet. It is known to affect people who are into sports or even those in the defense forces. It can happen in one foot or both feet.

Causes: Rehashed strain can cause the tendon to tear. These can prompt agony and swelling. This will probably happen if the following conditions are met:

  • Your feet roll inward excessively when you walk (too much pronation)
  • You have high curves or level feet
  • You walk, stand, or keep running for drawn-out stretches of time, particularly on hard surfaces
  • You are overweight
  • You wear shoes that don't fit well
  • You have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles

Symptoms: A vast majority of patients with plantar fasciitis experience pain when they begin to move about after getting out of bed or sitting for a while. You may have less stability and experience pain after you take a couple of strides. The motion also begins to sting the feet.

Treatment: There are numerous things you can try to improve your foot:

  • Avoid walking or running on hard surfaces.
  • To lessen the pain and swelling, you can try applying ice on your heel. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen, (for example, Advil or Motrin) or naproxen, (for example, Aleve).
  • Do toe stretching exercises and calf and towel extensions a few times a day, particularly when you wake up in the morning. (To perform towel extensions, you have to pull on both closures of a moved towel that you put under the bundle of your foot.)
  • Get another pair of shoes. Pick shoes with great curve support and a padded sole. Additionally, you can wear heel glasses or shoe embeds (orthotics). Use them in both shoes even if only one foot is affected.
  • Plantar fasciitis is caused by wounds that have happened after some time. With treatment, you will have less agony in a couple of weeks. The recovery period could also range from a couple of months to a year.

Plantars Fasciitis - How To Handle It?

Plantars Fasciitis - How To Handle It?

Plantar Fasciitis is an orthopaedic problem that gives rise to pain in the foot and heel due to strain or pressure on the plantar fascia. This is a ligament or connective tissue which lies in a flat band, connecting your heel with the toes and effectively, providing a basis for the motion of the feet in general. Inflammation, swelling and bruising of this tissue or ligament can lead to excessive pain in the heel. Let us look at ways that can help you deal with this pain.

-Rest: Taking rest and giving your feet a break from all kinds of strain-inducing activities can help in relieving the pain. Also, you can keep your feet elevated to help in reducing the pain in the area. 

-Supportive Footwear: Using pads within your shoes with gel built into them, or using specific footwear that helps in walking without feeling too much of pain is a good way of dealing with Plantar Fasciitis. The shoe inserts must be rubber, felt or plastic so that they are soft for the feet. These also give your heel and its arch good support, while Orthotics pull at the ligament so that there is less stress on the same. You can also pull on a pair of night flints which will keep the foot and this ligament stretched while you enjoy a good night of sleep.

-Exercise: Indulging in mild muscle strengthening exercise that also involves stretches and heel hooks can help in alleviating chronic pain that you may be suffering from. Lie flat on your back and take a towel. Lift your leg and hook your foot into it. Now press against the towel and pull down the towel simultaneously. Repeat at least ten times per foot. This will give you flexibility and strength in the area.

-Pain Killers: Use painkillers only when absolutely necessary and with due advice from the doctor or Orthopaedic specialist. The use of Ibuprofen and other pain relievers can help in numbing the pain-inducing nerves in the brain and give you instant relief.

-Anti Inflammatory Drugs: Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication that can bring down the swelling for more comfortable functioning when you are on your feet. Naproxen is one such drug that helps in bringing down the inflammation. Also, corticosteroid injections can relieve severe pain.

-Surgery: Heel spur removal or plantar fascia release are some of the surgical options for chronic and severe cases.

Taking care of your feet is a matter of ensuring that you look into the slightest discomfort and report the same to a doctor.

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Heel Pain - How To Tackle It?

Heel Pain - How To Tackle It?

The toes and heels are the most load bearing components within your feet which take most of the weight when walking, running, exercising or even standing up. The heels are an especially vulnerable part of the body which can become painful either due to injuries or excessive stress put on it. Pain in your heels can also be a sign of other problems in your body.

Causes for heel pain:

1. Sprains or straining the leg: Exercising is one of the most common culprits behind heel damage. Wearing the wrong shoes over prolonged periods, which can cause your balance to be shifted and will lead you to put a strain on your heels and cause pain. Falling or spraining during exercising or training can also cause heel pain.

2. Fractures: Stress or hairline fractures can occur even without impacts or trauma and also cause pain. It will slowly build up over time. In such cases, you should immediately consult a doctor and take remedial action.

3. Achilles tendon: A common cause for heel pain, the Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel. If this is torn or damaged, it can cause pain in your heel.

4. Arthritis: The deposition of uric acid crystals in parts of your body may result in arthritis; this is a fairly common cause for heel pain as well.

Treatments available

1. Change in shoes: Shoes play a major role in the development of heel pain. You will either need to change the shoes or adjust the heels to ensure that they are at an equal and comfortable height and keep your posture natural and balanced.

2. Foot supports: There are specialized heel supports and wedges, which you can wear with the footwear. These supports help redistribute weight from the problem areas and uniformly distribute it among the other parts of the foot. Heel cups are also another form of supports you could try.

3. Pain relief medications: Sometimes aspirin or ibuprofen may be required to numb and dull the pain, if getting through the day becomes difficult or you are in the middle of work.

4. Resting: Sometimes resting is the only medication you can take to relieve the pain as it can only subside once the underlying conditions are corrected.

5. Ice packs: Cold compress and cold therapy would definitely help in numbing the area and providing temporary pain relief.

It is, however, advisable to visit the doctor if the pain persists and take specialized medical care in more complicated cases wherein the pain is prolonged.

5803 people found this helpful

Plantar Fasciitis - Know How To Avoid It!

Plantar Fasciitis - Know How To Avoid It!

Plantar fasciitis or foot arch pain is the most widely recognised form of foot ache. The plantar fascia is a belt of the tissue (tendon) that connects your heel to your toes. It supports your foot arch. If you strain your plantar belt, it gets weak, swollen, and inflamed. At that point, your heel or the base of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.

Plantar fasciitis is very common in moderately aged individuals. It also affects young individuals who are on their feet a great deal, like athletes or sportspersons. It can happen in one foot or both feet. Straining the tendon or ligament that supports your arch causes plantar fasciitis. Repeated strain can bring about small tears in the tendon. These can lead to pain and swelling.

  1. No single treatment works best for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. However, there are numerous things you can do to help your foot to improve from this condition. These are as follows:
  2. Try to give your feet a lot of rest. Decrease the type of exercises that can make your foot hurt. Do whatever it takes not to walk or keep running on hard surfaces.
  3. Avoid wearing heels if that is what might be causing the pain. Try to wear shoes with soft soles.
  4. To diminish the pain and swelling, try applying ice on your arch or even heels, in case the pain is caused because of the arch. On the other hand, take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever like ibuprofen, (for example, Advil or Motrin) or naproxen, (for example, Aleve).
  5. Do toe stretches, calf stretches and towel extends a few times a day, particularly when you first get up in the morning. (For towel stretches, you pull on both the ends of a towel that you put under the bundle of your foot.) Before doing so, roll the towel into the shape of a band.
  6. Get another pair of shoes. Pick shoes with great curve bolster and a padded sole. On the other hand, you can also use heel mugs or shoe inserts (orthotics). Utilize them in both shoes, regardless of the possibility that only one foot hurts.

In case that these medications do not help, your doctor may suggest splints or supports that you can wear during the evening. He or she may also suggest certain shots of medicine, (for example, a steroid) in your heel, or different medicines. Most people will not require surgery. Specialists just propose it for individuals who still have pain even after taking different medicines for six to twelve months.

Plantar fasciitis frequently happens as a result of injuries that have happened after some time. With treatment, you will face less pain within a couple of weeks. However, it may take time for the pain to leave totally. It might take a couple of months to a year. Continue with your treatment. In case you do not, you may have chronic pain when you stand or walk. The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner your feet feel relief.

4069 people found this helpful

Plantars Fasciiti - How To Deal With It?

Plantars Fasciiti - How To Deal With It?

Plantars Fasciitis is an orthopaedic problem that gives rise to pain in the foot and heel due to strain or pressure on the plantar fascia. This is a ligament or connective tissue which lies in a flat band, connecting your heel with the toes and effectively, providing a basis for motion of the feet in general. Inflammation, swelling and bruising of this tissue or ligament can lead to excessive pain in the heel.

Let us look at ways that can help you deal with this pain :

1) Rest

Taking rest and giving your feet a break from all kinds of strain inducing activities can help in relieving the pain. Also, you can keep your feet elevated to help in reducing the pain in the area. 

2) Supportive Footwear

Using pads within your shoes with gel built into them, or using specific foot wear that help in walking without feeling too much of pain is a good way of dealing with Plantars Fasciitis. The shoe inserts must be rubber, felt or plastic so that they are soft for the feet. These also give your heel and its arch good support, while Orthotics pull at the ligament so that there is less stress on the same. You can also pull on a pair of night flints which will keep the foot and this ligament stretched while you enjoy a good night of sleep.

3) Exercise

Indulging in mild muscle strengthening exercise that also involves stretches and heel hooks can help in alleviating chronic pain that you may be suffering from. Lie flat on your back and take a towel. Lift your leg and hook your foot into it. Now press against the towel and pull down the towel simultaneously. Repeat at least ten times per foot. This will give you flexibility and strength in the area.

4) Pain Killers

Use pain killers only when absolutely necessary and with due advice from the doctor or Orthopaedic specialist. The use of Ibuprofen and other pain relievers can help in numbing the pain inducing nerves in the brain and give you instant relief.

5) Anti Inflammatory Drugs

Your doctor may prescribe anti inflammatory medication that can bring down the swelling for more comfortable functioning when you are on your feet. Naproxen is one such drug that helps in bringing down the inflammation. Also, corticosteroid injections can relieve severe pain.

6) Surgery

Heel spur removal or plantar fascia release are some of the surgical options for chronic and severe cases.

Taking care of your feet is a matter of ensuring that you look into the slightest discomfort and report the same to a doctor.

4344 people found this helpful

Plantar Fasciitis - What Are The Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment?

Plantar Fasciitis - What Are The Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a tissue underneath the ankle bone, which causes intermittent pain and discomfort. It affects a whopping 10 million people in India every year. Those aged 40 and above are at a higher risk of being affected by the condition.

Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis-
Plantar fascia is the soft tissue under the ankle bone, which connects the ankle bone to the toes and facilitates movement. If the fascia gets inflamed, the condition is known as Plantar fasciitis. If the tissue undergoes too much pressure, small tears are likely to take place. With repeated stretching and tearing of the tissue, inflammation and pain may develop.

However, in most cases, the exact cause of the condition is not well understood. Although, it is possible that sprinters or sportsmen are more likely to develop the Plantar fasciitis. Furthermore, obese people have a tendency to develop the condition, as do pregnant women during the later stages of pregnancy.

Symptoms
Here are some common symptoms associated with the Plantar fasciitis-

  1. Pain is the most common symptom related to the condition, although the exact location may vary. Some people experience discomfort on the heels, while others may experience pain at the bottom mid-foot area.
  2. The intensity of the pain also differs, as some may experience a dull pain, while others undergo a sharp pain while moving.
  3. The pain is common when you take your first steps in the morning after getting out of bed. It is also common for the pain to return when you get up after spending a prolonged period of time sitting down.

Treatment For The Condition
Treatment is broadly divided into home remedies and conventional medication. Home remedies involve the usage of ice packs on the heels, at least three to four times a day. Ample rest for your legs may also be enough to cure the condition. Additionally, the use of comfortable shoes along with stretching exercises may also cure the condition.

However, if none of the home remedies seems to work, over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be used. The doctor may even inject a steroidal medication into the affected region. In such cases, the medical treatments must be used in conjunction with physical therapy.

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Heel Bone Spurs - Risk Factors And Treatment!

Heel Bone Spurs - Risk Factors And Treatment!

Heel bone spur is a form of calcium deposit that causes a bony protrusion under the heel bone. An X-ray can reveal up to a half inch elongation under the hill. Without image report, this condition is commonly known as heel spur syndrome. Heel spurs are mostly painless but reports of pain in not uncommon. They are often related to plantar fasciitis. The latter is an inflammation of the connective tissue that stretches through the foot bottom connecting the heel bone and the football.

For all bone spurs and plantar fasciitis, the patient should always check for low back pain and symptoms related to lumbar spine.

What causes heel spurs?

Heel spurs are a result of prolonged calcium deposit. This condition can result from the heavy strain on the muscle of the foot and ligament, stretching of fascia and wear and tear of the heel bone membrane. These injuries are frequently observed among athletes who are involved with activities such as jumping and running. 

What are the risk factors?
1. Walking abnormalities that involve putting more than normal stress on the bone, nerve and ligament in and around the heel.
2. Running on surfaces that are hard in nature
3. Shoes lacking arch support
4. More than normal body weight 
5. Spending too much time on the feet
6. Too flat or too high arches
7. A person suffering from diabetes
8. In case the protective pad of the heel is fading away due to old age or other bone disorder

Non-Surgical treatment
Unlike common belief, only rest may not be the best way to treat heel bone spurs. On the contrary, a patient might feel sharp pain immediately after sleep. This happens when he tries to walk and the plantar fascia elongates all of a sudden. The pain decreases with more walking. Some treatment methods that work for 90 percent of the sufferers includes wearing the right shoe, stretching exercises, wearing orthotic devices inside the shoes and physical therapy. Over the counter medicine such as Aleve, Tylenol and Advil can be consumed to reduce the pain and for improving the overall condition. Corticosteroid injection also tends to give relief from the inflammation.

Surgical treatment
If heel spurs persist for more than 8-9 months, surgical options should be explored by the patient. There are two angles on which a doctor works, either removing the spur or release the plantar fascia. Pre-surgical exams are necessary to ensure that a person is eligible for surgery and all non-surgical avenues are explored. Post-surgical activities are equally important for the process of healing. Usage of bandages, crutches, splints and surgical shoes is a mandate to avoid complications such as infection, numbness, and scarring. Possible side effects should be discussed with the surgeon well before the surgery. The estimated healing time from this procedure is close to 8-12 weeks.

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Heel Pain & Ayurvedic Treatment!

Heel Pain & Ayurvedic Treatment!

One of the most common foot problems is heel pain either under or behind or on the sides of it. This pain does not indicate any symptoms of severe injury or health issues, but it can affect one’s daily life if not taken care of. Usually, the heel pain goes off itself, but it can also become severe in some chronic cases.

Causes:

There could be many reasons for heel pain. It is not something related to old age, but can happen to anyone at any age. One should not avoid it if he/she feels that it is not going away. The following are some of the causes which might lead to pain in the heel:

  1. Plantar fasciitis

  2. Achilles tendinitis

  3. Osteoporosis

  4. Diabetes  

  5. Bone tumor

  6. Heel bursitis (bone inflammation)

  7. Playing sports

  8. Stress fracture

  9. Arthritis

  10. Flat foot

  11. Obesity

  12. Heel or pump bumps

  13. Wearing too many heels

  14. Heavy exercises

  15. Heavy footsteps

  16. Calcaneal Apophysitis or Sever’s disease

  17. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  18. Gout (hyperuricemia or an increased amount of uric acid in the blood)

Diagnosis:

The heel pain can be healed by having some rest, foot massage, or ice-packs if it is caused by some exercise or wearing heels. But, if an individual does not find the pain going away or getting severe or finds any kind of swelling, then he/she should immediately consult the doctor and undergo some lab tests. In some cases, patients might need surgery, but in Ayurveda, there are treatments available for heel pain depending upon the cause and severity of the problem.

Ayurveda Treatment:

There are many exercises that can help an individual to release the heel pain. The exercises are not heavy but light which reduce the pressure on the joints. The most common type of exercises that are performed are rolling exercises where a tennis ball is rolled under the sole of the patient’s foot, stretching of calf muscles, out stretching of legs, and plantar fascia stretch.

  1. Ayurveda focuses on changing one’s lifestyle which could be a reason for the heel pain. Avoid wearing high heels for too long, flat or ill-fitting footwear that can stress the heels of a person. Fight obesity via a healthy diet and exercise to reduce the extra pressure on the heels.

  2. Other treatments include the massage of the foot and heels with oils specifically made for the heel or joint pain. There are various kinds of Ayurvedic oils available in the market. However, one should consult the doctor before using the oil as it may vary from person to person depending upon the intensity and the cause of pain.

  3. There are many medications too that can help control one’s problems related to the heel pain or the cause of the pain like diabetes and gout. This should again be consumed by the consultation of the doctor.

Take Away

Heel pain is indeed a subject of concern if it remains for a longer period of time as it can intervene in one’s daily life routine making the simplest task of sitting and walking really difficult for the patient. There are many causes for the heel pain and in several cases, it can be treated by simply changing a few habits and lifestyle of the bearer. Or, it might even need serious attention and treatment depending on the cause of the pain. Ayurveda provides us with treatments without surgery which can gradually fix the problem or at least decrease the intensity of the pain.

3284 people found this helpful

Plantar Fasciitis - What Should You Know?

Plantar Fasciitis - What Should You Know?

Plantar fasciitis is commonly found in middle aged people. It also affects elderly individuals who are constantly standing and walking. It is known to affect people who are into sports or even those in the defense forces. It can happen in one foot or both feet.

Causes:

Repeated strain on your heel and foot can cause this problem:

  1. You walk, stand, or keep running for drawn out stretches of time, particularly on hard surfaces
  2. You are overweight
  3. You wear shoes that don't fit well or the soles are hard.
  4. You have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles

Symptoms:

A vast majority of patients with plantar fasciitis experience pain when they begin to move about after getting out of bed or sitting for a while. The pain is severe in the morning and eases out after walking a little distance.

Treatment:

There are numerous things you can try to improve your foot:

  1. Avoid walking or running on hard surfaces.
  2. To lessen the pain and swelling, you can try applying ice on your heel.
  3. Stretching exercises – stretching exrecises of the foot, toes ,calf, hamstrings which are tight are needed. There are various online resources to learn and do these exercises or one can go to a physiotherapist for the same.
  4. Get another pair of shoes. Pick shoes with great curve support and a padded sole. Alternatively you can buy gel padded insoles to fit your current shoes.
  5. The use of steroid injections is discouraged for this condition and patients should be vary of these practises.

Patients can also consult an orthpaedic surgeon if they are not sure of the cause of pain or if prolonged physiotherapy and exercise does not help in this condition.

4301 people found this helpful
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