The largest bone in the foot is the heel, and it is also the most common reason people feel pain in their feet. The pain can be felt in the bottom, front or back of the heel, and can affect a person’s quality of life. Chronic foot pain can be treated and managed with stretching exercises, inserts and massaging products, but first you need to know what type of problem is affecting your feet before it can be relieved.
Types of Foot and Heel Pain
There are several types of heel pain that include,
- Bursitis of the heel
- Achilles tendinitis
- Excess pronation
- Haglund’s deformity
- Heel spurs
- Plantar fasciitis
Bursitis of the Heel
This painful condition occurs when the small sack (bursa) underneath the heel bone becomes inflamed. Over the counter pain medications can provide temporary relief, along with massaging and cushioned inserts.
When the tendon that connects the calf muscle and heel is stretched or torn it can result in excruciating pain. Achilles tendinitis can make it difficult to walk, and it is most common in joggers and other athletes. Stretching exercises and ice can help alleviate the pain, and also help promote healing. Gentle foot massagers and spa units can also provide relief from the chronic pain. While the Achilles tendon is healing it is important to continue stretching, and refrain from exercising whenever pain is felt.
When the foot turns inward when you walk or run you are probably suffering from excessive pronation. Over time this can result in heel pain, and also cause problems with your hips, knees and lower back. Specialized inserts can help correct your tendency for pronation, and also help prevent foot and heel pain from occurring.
Also known as “pump bump” due to the frequency it appears in women who wear high heels, Haglund’s deformity occurs when the shoe back rubs repeatedly against the heel. The small growth and tender tissue that develop can make it difficult and painful to walk and stand. Along with wearing shoes that fit properly to prevent this problem from occurring, orthotic devices can also be used to relieve pain while the injury is healing. Foot spas can be used to alleviate pain, and the warm water can help tense muscle relax.
This condition occurs when there are small tears in the tendons and ligaments located in your feet. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain, but it can be treated with rest, stretching exercises and the proper footwear. Inserts can provide plenty of comfortable cushioning and help promote healing, along with foot massagers and spas.
In some cases any of these causes of foot and heel pain could require surgery or a regime that includes prescription medication. If you have chronic foot and heel pain it is always best to speak with your health care advisor before starting any treatment plan.