Heel Pain/Heel Spurs

heel-painHeel pain is often caused by Plantar Fasciitis, a common foot problem. It starts as a dull intermittent pain in the heel which may progress to a sharp persistent pain.

Classically, it is worse in the morning with the first few steps, or after sitting for a period of time and then standing up. The pain normally goes away when you start walking but recurs after a period of rest.

The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue which runs along the bottom surface of the foot. It is attached to the heel bone (calcaneous) and fans forward toward the toes. It is responsible for maintaining the arch of the foot.

What Causes the Heel Pain?

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The problem usually occurs when part of the inflexible fascia is pulled away from the heel bone. This causes an inflammation, which results in pain.

Plantar fascia injury may also occur mid-sole or towards the toes. Since it is difficult to rest the foot, a vicious cycle is set up, with each step aggravating the problem. In severe cases, the heel is visibly swollen.

The problem progresses rapidly therefore help should be sought as soon as possible. Many people wait a few months before seeking treatment hoping it will just “go away” but this is not normally the case.

As the fascia is pulled away from the bone, the body reacts by filling the space with new bone. This causes the classic “heel spur”. The heel spur is a secondary x-ray finding and is a result, rather than a cause, of the problem. Many people think the heel spur is causing the pain. This is not true. It is the tearing away of the plantar fascia from your heel bone (calcaneus) that results in the recurring severe pain.

Here’s a video where Tony describes what’s happening in your heel and demonstrates how the Birkenstock Shoe Inserts can help heal your plantar fascia tear:

How can Grady’s help you?

Possible Solutions

On the next page are some stretching exercises and information about Birkenstock Therapeutic Arch Supports that may help relieve your pain.