Heel and arch pain
How to ease foot pain
There are different causes of heel pain. Fortunately, there are also several things you and your physiotherapist can do to try and ease this pain and get you walking again.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis
Your plantar fascia is the connective tissue that is on the bottom of your feet. It connects your toes to the bone in your heel, or calcaneus. It supports and helps shape the arch of your feet. Your plantar fascia also helps absorb shock as you walk and run.
Sometimes your plantar fascia can start tearing and causing you pain. This usually happens when it becomes injured and inflamed, leading to plantar fasciitis. The most common reason for pain in the arch of your foot as seen by your physiotherapist is plantar fasciitiis.
By the numbers
About 10% of people will have plantar fasciitis pain, affecting around 10-20% of runners. Patients dealing with plantar fasciitis pain are usually between 25-65 years old. Most people will have pain in only one heel, with 1/3 having pain in both heels. You may find that your arch foot pain eases as you continue walking.
Causes Of Plantar Fascitiis
Heel or arch pain from plantar fasciitis can sometimes be due to different reasons. Some of these may include things such as:
- An increase in your exercise routines, especially running or jumping
- Being overweight
- Having a large spur in your heel
- Having flat feet or pes planus
- Living a sedentary and inactive lifestyle
- Spending long periods of time standing or on your feet
- Too much plantar flexion from tight calves or Achilles tendon
- Unsupportive shoes or footwear
Other sources of your foot or arch pain can include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Heel pad syndrome
Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis
Home Tips For Plantar Fasciitis
Fortunately, there are many things you can try if you are having plantar fasciitis heel pain. By looking at some of the possible causes of your arch pain you can find some ideas to try and relieve your pain:
- Exercise: Avoid doing too much exercise such as running or jumping, especially if you are having plantar fasciitis pain
- Footwear: Generally, a better shoe for plantar fascitiis is one that is snug, supportive, firm and has some arch support. Sandals or flip flops are not ideal plantar fasciitis types of footwear to be using
- Ice: You can try using an ice pack wrapped in a wet towel to reduce your plantar fascia inflammation
- Rest: Be sure to get enough rest between your exercise sessions or work to allow your foot time to heal
- Stretch: Having tight calves or Achilles tendons may limit your dorsiflexion or ability to lift your toes and foot up, the opposite of plantar flexion
- Weight: Losing weight can mean less stress on your joints and plantar fascia
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
If your plantar fasciitis pain is not going away, there are several things your North Burnaby Heights physiotherapist can do to help:
Your physio can show you the proper exercises to stretch and strengthen your feet, ankles, calves and Achilles tendons
Some studies have shown that IMS may help ease the pain in the arch of your foot
Phyiso techniques to help ease the bottom of your foot pain
Your physiotherapist may recommend you use a night splint to keep your foot out of plantar flexion and calf stretched as you sleep
Orthotics, supportive taping or bracing may provide support for your arch, reduce tension on your plantar fascia. This might help your foot and ankle joints and muscles work more efficiently
Tips on footwear
Speak with your physiotherapist on finding the best footwear for you depending on the condition of your feet and ankles. Also on what type of footwear to avoid
Other treatments for your foot pain can include seeing a podiatrist, surgery, injections and medications.