In the human body, the heel is the part that lies at the cushiony bottom area of each foot. The heel bone forms its exterior shape and is considered the largest bone of the foot.
In the heel bone, there is a fleshy part that is called “the tuber calcanei” and is in charge of the visible projection of the foot that shapes the heel.
Abductor Hallucis and Digit Minimi are the two muscles in the foot that are extended from the sides of the heel bones and can move the big toe and the baby toe individually.
Not only this, the heel bone even carries the initial point of the Achilles tendon that joins the calf and its muscles to the heel.
The position of the heel and ankle assist the ‘arch’ of the foot. The arch and heel help the foot to distribute the force evenly.
Nowadays, having a sore heel is a common foot problem. The heel pain can happen either behind the heel or underneath it. There are times when this pain influences the side of the heel.
There are various reasons that affect heel pain. The longer people avoid its treatment, the longer time it will take for the recovery.
Achilles tendon injury: Achilles tendon injury is also known as Achilles tendinitis. It occurs when the tendon that joins the calf muscles to the heels gets painful because of overuse injuries. This later results in a sore Achilles tendon.
Plantar Fasciitis: When people get too much pressure on their feet it will harm the plantar fascia ligament that later will result in stiffness and pain. This situation is known as plantar fasciitis.
Sprain & Strain: Typically, due to the physical activity our body suffers from sprain and strain. The strain or sprain even gets severe, depending on the incident.
During heel pain, people experience tenderness, aching, and soreness in the heel. The following are the areas of the heel that generally becomes the target for heel pain:-
Back of the heel
Within the heel bone itself
under the heel
Lots of problems that result in heel pain can be treated with nonsurgical procedures. There is a list of heel pain treatment:-
Injections: In order to ease swelling and pain, steroid injections are given to the patient suffering from heel pain.
Stretching Exercises: In order to tighten the muscles or tendons, the doctor can suggest to the patient some exercises.
Taping: The doctor can suggest the patient use Athletic tape as it is really helpful to brace the foot heel.
Pain Relievers: One of the best options to ease pain and swelling is to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with ice packs.
Physical Therapy: Another best way to lessen the pain is to go for physical therapy and have a massage. They will also reduce inflammation.
Orthotic Devices: There are various devices like custom-made shoes, splints, walking boots, etc. The custom-made shoe takes the pressure off the heel. The people who suffer from morning pain can wear a splint at night so that they can find relief. On the other hand, people who suffer from serious symptoms require more supportive shoes for daily activities.
For treating heel pain, it's very rare for the doctor to suggest surgery.
Exercises are a crucial part of maintaining physical activity and escalating the quality of life. They can also be very beneficial for treating heel pain:-
Rolling Stretch: For doing the rolling stretch, you require to sit in a chair with both feet on the floor. You can take either a ball or any rollable object and place it under the arch of the injured foot and rotate it throughout for at least 2 minutes.
Standing Calf Raise: For doing a standing calf raise exercise, you are required to first find a wall and then stand facing it. Now, try to put your injured foot at the back of the other foot. Make sure that you bent your front knee, and put your back leg straight with the foot on the ground. Until you notice a stretch in the lower leg’s calf, keep on pulling the hips forward.
Band-assisted ankle flexion: For performing the band-assisted ankle flexion you need to first sit on the floor or on a yoga mat. Make sure that you keep on your leg straight. Now, tight one end of the band to a strong object and put another end to the top of the foot. Bend and stretch at the ankle joint and repeat on both feet.
Dr. Darsh Goyal is a renowned Orthopedic Surgeon who has experience of nearly two decades in knee and shoulder surgery. He has worked in some of the finest hospitals across the globe. He has successfully treated more than nine thousand patients. Dr. Darsh has received training from some of the most respected institutes worldwide - NHS England, Hss New York, USA, and Munich, Germany. He has written many books and international papers. Dr. Goyal’s Bones & Joint Centre is among the best centers for advanced Arthroscopy/Laser Surgery for knee and shoulder and Fast track Total knee Replacement.
What is the most common cause of heel pain?
The most common cause of heel pain is Plantar fasciitis. When people get too much pressure on their feet, it will harm the plantar fascia ligament, resulting in stiffness and pain.
How do I know if my heel pain is serious?
You can have serious pain in the heel after an injury, Face issues while walking, feel numbness in the heels, etc.
Is walking good for heel pain?
It completely depends on the root cause of the heel pain that can specify whether walking is good for you or not. It is advisable to ask your doctor what they have to say.
How long does it take for heel pain to go away?
The time period for your heel pain to heal completely depends on the severity of the pain. It takes one to three weeks for a bruised heel to recover but if your bruised reached to the heel bone then it will take six weeks or more.
Can plantar fasciitis go away on its own?
Yes, plantar fasciitis can go away on its own but you need to be patient about it, as it takes a year or more for the pain to calm down. Still, it is advisable to check with the doctor and at least begin with your nonsurgical treatment.