Orthotics St Paul MN | St Paul MN Chiropractor

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 heel and arch pain is a condition called plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs along the arch of your feet from your heel to your toes, and aids in stabilization of your arch during walking and running.

Foot, Heal and Arch Pain

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition resulting in pain under the heel. It is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia or arch tendon of the foot. It is a very common condition and can be difficult to treat if not looked after properly.

Symptoms involve two areas — the arch, and more commonly, the bottom inside heel area.

Severe pain can be present, especially in the morning on arising. Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Pain in the morning when you first get out of bed
  • Pain and stiffness when you start to walk after sitting for a while
  • Increasing pain in your heel or arch towards the end of the day
  • Tired feet at the end of the day

Sports and Heel Pain

Sports activities are an exciting and healthy part of life. Participating in sports that include jarring starts and stops, or sports performed on uneven surfaces can quickly lead to heel pain. There are several steps you can take to help relieve many types of heel pain, as well as prevent the condition before it starts.

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) in cooperation with the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM) offer five sports most likely to contribute to heel pain and steps you can take to prevent it from occurring.

The chart below outlines several popular sporting activities and tips to avoid heel pain during each:

Sport Problem Solution
Running Pain in the arch and bottom of the heel can be caused by both short and long distance running. • Choose the correct shoe for running, short or long distances, this can prevent most pain.

• Try over-the-counter insoles; they can sometimes help to relieve pain by providing cushion and shock absorption.

Custom orthotics helps many runners.

• Replace worn shoes every 350-500 miles.

Walking and Hiking Walking and hiking may irritate a Haglund’s deformity, which is a bump on the back of the heel bone where the Achilles tendon attaches. It can become larger or inflamed over time. •Wearing shoes or boots with stiff heel counters can irritate the heel bone, especially on steep up hills.

•Selecting a shoe with a lower or softer heel counter may relieve pain.

•Using heel lifts and custom orthotics can reposition the heel and reduce irritation.

Tennis Tennis may cause pain on the outer sides of the heel due to body positioning during the day. •Increase stretching at the first signs of heel pain. Include stretching the hamstrings.

•Using insoles and custom orthotic devices can help.

Basketball Basketball and other jarring sports can cause stress fractures and pain on the bottom, back and sides of the heel. •High-top shoes can help keep the foot stable.

•Stretch the entire leg and foot before playing.

• Heel lifts and custom foot orthotics can prevent pain or provide relief.

Custom Orthotics

While many Americans take their feet for granted, always focusing in on your foot health can ensure that you never lose a step to heel pain.  Remember, if detected early, chances are high that your heel pain can be treated successfully.

In more difficult cases of plantar fasciitis you may have a custom orthotic prescribed for you. Research indicates in cases of mechanically induced heel and arch pain which does not initially respond to treatment, the most effective treatment is custom made orthotics.

Custom foot orthotics are precision balanced medical devices worn in your shoes to allow the feet and lower extremities to function properly and help eliminate pain and deformity caused by improper function. They are specifically designed to fit your feet and act to restore the normal biomechanical function of the lower extremities.

Custom orthotic devices have the greatest chance of reducing the tension in your plantar fascia, reducing your pain, and helping you avoid surgery.

While heel pain may be common, remember… foot pain of any kind is never considered normal.

If you experience any discomfort in your heels or other areas of the foot or lower leg, Caron Chiropractic can help!

Sources: American Podiatric Medical Association/American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine