Everything You Need To Know About Heel Pain And Discomfort

Overview

Heel Discomfort

Heel Pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst. Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. A foot and ankle surgeon is able to distinguish between all the possibilities and determine the underlying source of your heel pain.What Is Plantar Fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.

Causes

In the majority of cases, heel pain has a mechanical cause. It may also be caused by arthritis, infection, an autoimmune problem trauma, a neurological problem, or some other systemic condition (condition that affects the whole body).

Symptoms

Plantar fascia usually causes pain and stiffness on the bottom of your heel although some people have heel spurs and suffer no symptoms at all. Occasionally, heel pain is also associated with other medical disorders such as arthritis (inflammation of the joint), bursitis (inflammation of the tissues around the joint). Those who have symptoms may experience ?First step? pain (stone bruise sensation) after getting out of bed or sitting for a period of time. Pain after driving. Pain on the bottom of your heel. Deep aching pain. Pain can be worse when barefoot.

Diagnosis

A podiatrist (doctor who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of foot diseases) will carry out a physical examination, and ask pertinent questions about the pain. The doctor will also ask the patient how much walking and standing the patient does, what type of footwear is worn, and details of the his/her medical history. Often this is enough to make a diagnosis. Sometimes further diagnostic tests are needed, such as blood tests and imaging scans.

Non Surgical Treatment

Shoes, orthoses, splinting and/or immobilization form the cornerstone for successful functional management of plantar fasciitis.When you take the overuse nature of plantar fasciitis into account and attempt to re-establish the windlass mechanism of the foot, there is an enhanced potential for success. Unfortunately, too little attention has been directed to appropriately managing the shoes worn during treatment for plantar fasciitis. Emphasising motion control and stability type athletic shoes (that provide a firm heel cup, instep rigidity, longitudinal integrity and a well-integrated shoe upper) can help decrease excess eccentric tissue strain. The shoe also serves as a vital and functional link between an orthotic and the foot. Orthoses have long been considered to be a reliable method for treating plantar fasciitis. Considerable debate has been waged over the benefits of over-the-counter (OTC), prefabricated and prescription foot and/or ankle orthoses. Heel cushions, heel cups and cushioning pads appear to provide immediate pain relief for many people who have plantar fasciitis.This relief is frequently short-lived and requires other treatment modalities for success.Neutral position taping and strapping of the foot provides temporary symptomatic relief of pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Although the functional benefits are temporary and likely do not last longer than 10 minutes with exercise, the soft tissue compression and symptomatic relief afforded by the strapping can last for nearly a week.

Surgical Treatment

It is rare to need an operation for heel pain. It would only be offered if all simpler treatments have failed and, in particular, you are a reasonable weight for your height and the stresses on your heel cannot be improved by modifying your activities or footwear. The aim of an operation is to release part of the plantar fascia from the heel bone and reduce the tension in it. Many surgeons would also explore and free the small nerves on the inner side of your heel as these are sometimes trapped by bands of tight tissue. This sort of surgery can be done through a cut about 3cm long on the inner side of your heel. Recently there has been a lot of interest in doing the operation by keyhole surgery, but this has not yet been proven to be effective and safe. Most people who have an operation are better afterwards, but it can take months to get the benefit of the operation and the wound can take a while to heal fully. Tingling or numbness on the side of the heel may occur after operation.

Prevention

Heel Discomfort

It may not be possible to prevent all cases of heel pain. However, there are some easy steps that you can take to avoid injury to the heel and prevent pain. Whenever possible, you should wear shoes that fit properly and support the foot, wear the right shoes for physical activity, stretch your muscles before exercising, pace yourself during physical activity, maintain a healthy diet, rest when you feel tired or when your muscles ache, maintain a healthy weight.

How To Treat Early Morning Heel Pain?

Advanced podiatric treatments for plantar fasciitis combined with rest, night splints, anti-inflammatories, injections, physical therapy, and orthotics may be necessary to treat your heel pain effectively. Conservative treatment is about 85% effective, and surgery is rarely needed. The longer you wait to seek professional help, the more likely you will need invasive treatment or even surgery to control your heel pain. Glucocorticoid (steroid) injection may also work for plantar fasciitis and should be used if the patient has not responded to conservative measures. The use of diagnostic ultrasound to guide the injection is recommended.

Surgery for these two conditions are a little more technical. The medial calcaneal nerve is a sensory nerve only. It has no motor function. If the pain becomes unbearable then you can stop the pain by stopping the nerve from functioning. This is done by either chemical neurolysis with alcohol or possible surgical transection. The first branch of the lateral plantar nerve is another story. It has a motor function in the foot so chemical neuroysis or transection is not recommended. Open reduction is required. This is only 60% successful. Some other solutions for treating heel pain come not from the drug store or the doctor’s office, but the grocery.heel pain

Orthotics is designed to correct faulty foot function reducing the amount of ankle role and arch flattening during the gait cycle. In turn this will reduce the amount of internal rotation of the ankles, legs and knees. By correcting over-pronation orthotics re-align the feet and ankle bones to their neutral position, restoring our natural foot function. Therefore, orthotics not only helps alleviateproblems in the feet but also in otherparts of the body such as the knees and lower back. Short Description 40 million people in the world are suffering with heel pain. This article discussed the most common cause of heel pain and how to diagnose and treat the condition.

If you are the athletic type, always wear proper footwear while engaging in sports or fitness activities. Shop for shoes that are designed to cushion and support the balls of your feet. Make sure the shoes are wide enough to prevent the pinching of nerves, with proper arch support. Use custom orthotics for ultimate comfort and support. Be aware of the wrong type of shoes in everyday wear too. Opt for shoes with lower heels and that allow a flexible ankle joint. Don’t settle for cheap, non-supportive shoes during work, play or even shopping. heel pain relief

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