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Heel Pain; problems and solutions

Heel pain is a common problem of the foot, characterized by sharp pain that comes gradually and is felt under the foot or behind the heel. Although heel pain is not a serious health threat, it may be severe, and in some cases, debilitating. Mild heel pain will disappear on its own, but pain that persists for a long period requires a visit to your general practitioner or podiatrist. Orthotics can minimize the discomfort caused by the most common abnormalities affecting the feet and ankles. A personalized fitting insert such as P.O.L. CustomFit™ Orthotics can relieve pain, provided an extra cushion, ankle stability, and arch support needed to facilitate healing of the heel bone.


Symptoms of heel pain

This condition is rarely caused by acute injuries. Pain in the heel is frequently triggered by wearing flat footwear, such as flip-flop sandals and slippers. Pain may also be felt after resting (post-static dyskinesia) or prolonged sitting – with some cases being severe upon waking up in the morning.


Other signs and symptoms:

swelling near the heel numbness or tingling sensation in the affected area

pain accompanied with fever

inability to bend the foot downwards inability to rise onto your toes inability to walk normally pain even while at rest.


Causes

The heel or calcaneus bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. It serves as a rigid support for the weight of the body. When we are on our feet, such as while walking or running, the heels absorb the impact of our feet when they hit the ground. Experts believe that the heel absorbs stress as much as 1.25 times our body weight while walking and 2.75 times when running. Thus, making it more vulnerable to impairment and pain. Aside from repeated stress, here are some of the medical conditions that may cause heel pain:


Plantar fasciitis – the most common cause of heel pain and is characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia (the ligament that connects the heel bone to the tip of the foot).


Heel spur – a bony outgrowth of the heel bone that is associated with Plantar fasciitis.


Heel bursitis – inflammation at the bursa (sac-like structure filled with fluid) of the heel. May be triggered by landing hard or awkwardly on the heels.


Tarsal tunnel syndrome – caused by a compressed or pinched nerve in the back of the foot.


Heel bumps – often occurring in females, teenagers, and those with flat foot. Excessive rubbing of the immature heel bone results in the formation of excessive bone.


Calcaneal apophysitis – also known as Sever’s disease – is an inflammation of the heel’s growth plate accompanied with pain, commonly affecting active children.


Treatment

Medical grade orthotics are the most commonly recommended treatment by podiatrists. These assistive devices correct underlying foot problems and provide support of the arches and cushion of the heel while the bone is healing.


Studies suggest that custom insoles can provide better relief and healing for heel pain and other serious foot conditions. P.O.L. CustomFit™ Orthotics from Poditech Orthotic Laboratory is a revolutionary approach in providing “personalized” insoles, compared to traditional and custom (pre-fabricated) orthotics available in pharmacies and shoe stores.


Dr. Tim Nguyen (Wynn), who pioneered these prescription quality insoles, spent 15 years in researching, designing, and testing before releasing these products in the market. P.O.L. CustomFit™ orthotics are molded in the shoes to capture the unique shape of every individual’s feet to eliminate any margin for human error.


Because Poditech Orthotics are personalized based on your own foot condition, you can be sure that they will effectively address the underlying cause of your heel pain.


Other treatment modalities:

  • Foot stretching and foot strengthening exercises to relieve the pressure on the plantar ligament

  • Over-the-counter or doctor-prescribed pain relievers

  • Applying an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes, at least 3 times a day

  • A more invasive approach requires removal of the plantar fascia



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