Heel pain is a very common problem for people of all ages. To a certain degree, this can be attributed to the fact there are several potential root causes of this problem. Whereas the most prevalent cause of heel pain for adults is plantar fasciitis, heel pain is also caused by conditions like Achilles tendinitis, calcaneal fractures, and Sever’s disease (for preteens and adolescents).
Another factor in the prominence of heel pain stems from anatomy – two major connective tissues are anchored to the heel bone. The plantar fascia and Achilles tendon both connect the heel bone to other parts of the lower extremities.
No matter the cause, however, one thing is for sure – heel pain at home or at work can be a challenge!
Fortunately, most cases of heel pain can be treated without needing surgical intervention. Even better, there are preventative measures to lower the risk of the problem developing in the first place. But wait, there’s more!
Many of the steps you can take to prevent a particular source of heel pain will actually help reduce your risk of other issues at the same time. This means when you are doing what you need to do to lower your risk of Achilles tendinitis, you’re also lessening the odds you’ll suffer from plantar fasciitis.
Preventing Heel Pain
As you look to prevent heel pain and decrease your risk of injury, use the following measures:
- Wear proper shoes. Make sure that you have the correct footwear for any physical activity you perform. Even more importantly, they should fit well. Shoes that are too tight or too large cause many problems, some of which will leave you with painful heels. Your shoes should cradle your heels snuggly, have room for toes to wiggle, and offer both cushioning in the heel and support for the arch.
- Ease into activity. Too often, patients experience heel pain after starting new activities at too high a level of intensity or duration. Start at an easy-to-moderate level and increase your efforts by no more than 10% every week.
- Warm up and stretch. Prior to exercise or physical activity, warm up and use dynamic stretching to prepare your body. Give careful attention to your calves, ankles, and feet. Warm up first for a couple of minutes before stretching, as this is proven to be more effective at reducing the risk of injury.
Steps to prevent heel pain can make a big difference, but keep in mind they do not completely eliminate the risk of developing a condition or sustaining an injury. In such instances, Fixing Feet Institute is here for you. Our caring staff is ready to provide the treatment you need to get you back on your feet again.