Foot Pain & Injuries
Foot & Heel Injuries:
Injuries to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in the lower body are very common. Your legs and feet endure constant stress or pressure due to the amount of time you spend standing, as well as from the pressure they endure during physical activity and sports. Because of the excessive amount of work your feet undergo on a daily basis, they are often prone to developing many painful conditions that can plague your feet.
Common Heel and Foot Injuries
The most common types of feet pain can develop around, and be centered on the heel of the foot. The heels of the feet often hit the ground at high velocity or with great pressure during running or any other physical activity which would deliver excessive amounts of weight, pounding, or force against the heel. Because the heels of the feet are prone to receiving the brunt of physical stress it is important to be able to address these painful conditions when they occur in order to treat the painful conditions and keep them from coming back.
Among the most common causes of pain in the feet is plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia ligament, which runs the length of the bottom of the foot, develops tears and becomes inflamed. Aching pain can ensue once this condition develops and it can greatly affect your daily lifestyle.
Another type of feet pain is due to heel spurs. Heel spurs are pointed, bony fragments that extend from the heel of the foot and point forwards towards the toes. This fragment can become very painful as it tears through tissue and nerves in the foot and pain usually becomes more severe over time as the spur develops.
Another type of pain that can develop around the heel of the foot is Achilles tendonitis. Similar to plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis results from tears in the Achilles tendon along the back of the heel and ankle due to repetitive or excessive stress, resulting in inflammation and pain.
Calcaneal Apophysitis (Severs Disease) is a common form of pain in children ages that are 9 to 15 years old. More physically active children may develop this condition when they experience sharp, aching pain in their feet, particularly in their heels, which also may cause them to change their gait (the way their foot hits the ground as they walk or run).
Metatarsalgia is a painful condition in the metatarsal or ball-of-foot area that is often a result of inflammation. Added pressure on the forefoot, often as a result of high heeled shoes, can negatively affect the area and cause terrible pain.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal Tunnel occurs as a result of the tibial nerve becoming pinched. When this tibial nerve is pinched or constricted, pain and inflammation may occur. This condition is much like the condition that affects the wrist, known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Causes of Heel Pain
Many factors can lead to the development of a heel injury and pain. Causes of heel pain may include:
Ill-fitting or unsupportive shoes can often add pressure to the heel, plantar fascia, and other parts of the foot. Shoes that do not provide adequate cushioning in the heel, forefoot, and support in the arch may add strain or cause misalignment throughout the foot during movement, over working the foot and causing mechanical malfunctions of the foot, such as with pronation. Specific shoes and sandals are designed to actually improve foot health.
Sports and physical activity are often responsible for adding strain the heel of the foot. Athletes often want to push themselves during training. Unfortunately, this behavior can often lead to injury. Injury can be prevented by stretching before and after a workout, wearing supportive athletic shoes, and easing into an exercise routine gradually.
Common Symptoms of Heel Pain
A wide range of symptoms can occur among the injuries and conditions listed above. Among the most common symptoms are:
Morning Heel Pain
Many foot pain conditions are more painful in the morning, particularly when getting out of bed in the morning. Being off the feet for prolonged periods of time relives pain, however when weight is placed on the feet for the first time in the morning pain can be the most severe.
Tenderness and Swelling
Sometimes heel pain sufferers may not realize they have an injury until they notice tenderness and swelling. This is sometimes an indication that they have a heel spur, plantar fasciitis, or related heel injury.
Pain in the front underside of the heel is often a good indication of plantar fasciitis or the development of a heel spur. Pain in the back of the heel is usually an indication of Achilles tendonitis. Pain in the lower back portion of the underside of the heel can indicate the occurrence of Severs Disease.
Numbness and Tingling
Sometimes, a nerve in the foot can cause pain, as well as numbness or tingling throughout the foot. This could indicate Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, but in few cases can also occur as a result of a heel spur interfering with a nerve in the heel.