MN Chiropractor | Orthotics St Paul MN

Does one (or even both) of your heels hurt?  If so, you aren’t alone. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain in today’s population. A study by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has found that nearly 40 percent of all Americans have suffered from heel pain at some point in their lives.

So what causes heel pain? What are the ways to fix this problem that can drastically impact your life?  Can heel pain be prevented entirely?

Determining the cause of heel pain is not always an easy answer, but early treatment is vital. Educating yourself about the main causes of heel pain, as well as the best ways that you can treat and prevent this common foot condition, will help keep your feet healthy and pain-free.

What Is Causing My Heel Pain?

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Heel and arch pain is usually the result of faulty biomechanics (walking gait abnormalities) that place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues that attach to it. This increased stress causes local inflammation and pain.

The most common cause of this increased stress is a condition known as “over-pronation”, which means that your feet roll inward too much when you walk.

As they roll inward the arch of the foot flattens and the arch lengthens. When the arch lengthens there is increased tension on the plantar fascia.

Excessive pronation can create an abnormal amount of stretching and pulling on the ligaments and tendons that attach to the bottom back of the heel bone. It can also contribute to problems of the hip, knee and lower back.

It is often characterized by pain on the bottom of the heel when you take your first steps in the morning, but can also last all day long—with pain often progressing the longer the condition remains untreated. Other common causes of heel pain include tendinitis, stress fractures, neuritis, bursitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and fat pad thinning.

Another symptom is that the sufferer has difficulty bending the foot so that the toes are brought toward the shin (decreased dorsiflexion of the ankle). A symptom commonly recognized among sufferers of plantar fasciitis is an increased probability of knee pains, especially among runners.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a number of factors, including weight gain, worn-out shoes, walking barefoot, increasing exercise, and walking on hard surfaces without proper support. Any of these factors, in combination with how your feet function mechanically, can cause plantar fasciitis.

Chiropractic and Plantar Fasciitis

There are several ways chiropractors treat plantar fasciitis. Chiropractic adjustments along with custom foot orthotics are some of the most effective and immediate ways to relieve complications from an irregular gait. Orthotics are custom made devices that you put right in your shoe like an insole to help correct, or minimize the impact of, any irregularities in your gait that may be the source of your discomfort.