Heel pain is one of the most common complaints relating to the foot. Millions of people receive treatment for heel pain each year. In fact, many people live with it for a year or more before finding a solution. This is a small insight to some of the foot issues that I have dealt with personally.
My wife has given me nick name tenderfoot. In all honestly, I can state that in over the last 8yrs, I have had minimal foot or heel pain. However, my wife likes to remind me of my duties as a man to complain more than I should. I like many others have suffered from plantar fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
So you are asking yourself what is Plantar Fasciitis. Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue which runs across the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bone to your toes. Normally, your plantar fascia acts as a shock-absorber, supporting the arch in your foot. But, if tension becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia causing the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. This heel pain is a condition known as Plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis usually develops gradually, but it may feel as though it has happened suddenly.
People with plantar fasciitis often describe:
- An incredible pain in their heel when they take their first steps in the morning or after getting up from being seated
- A sharp, stabbing heel pain
- A feeling like they are stepping on a small stone
- Pain that subsides after they’ve walked around for a while
Any one or even all of these symptoms could indicate plantar fasciitis. A detailed assessment from your physiotherapist would confirm this as well. They can also give you some advice on whether or not a pair of custom orthotics would be beneficial.
My own plantar fasciitis started at a young age (18), but with some good advice from a physiotherapist and a custom pair of orthotics, I was soon back to playing all the sports I wanted painfree. That being said, I know that it is something that I am prone to and avoid being barefoot on hard surfaces and continue to stretch my calves regularly to reduce the chances of it returning. Whether I am on the farm or playing baseball or ball hockey, I have found the orthotics to be extremely beneficial.
So if you are one of the many who suffer from heel pain, know that it is something that can be dealt with. See your local therapist and get back to doing the things that you want to.
Byron Kadatz, BScPT