Heel Pain Treatment

Heel Pain Treatment

Heel Pain Treatment
The most common causes of​ heel pain is​ a​ condition called plantar fasciitis . ​
Plantar fasciitis is​ the​ inflammation of​ the​ plantar fascia . ​
the​ plantar fascia is​ a​ broad band of​ tissue which originates from the​ heel, runs along the​ sole of​ the​ foot and​ connects to​ the​ toes . ​

The plantar fascia works like a​ rubber band between the​ heel and​ the​ ball of​ your foot to​ form the​ arch of​ your foot . ​
if​ the​ band is​ short, youll have a​ high arch, and​ if​ its long, youll have a​ low arch, what some people call flat feet . ​
a​ pad of​ fat in​ your heel covers the​ plantar fascia to​ help absorb the​ shock of​ walking . ​
Plantar fasciitis is​ often referred to​ as​ a​ heel spur which is​ a​ calcium deposit in​ the​ plantar fascia attachment . ​
the​ heel spur does not cause pain . ​

Athletic tape is​ applied to​ the​ plantar fascia and​ works be reducing tension by preventing the​ fascia from stretching . ​
the​ tape is​ strapped from the​ heel to​ the​ base of​ the​ toes . ​
Tension is​ maintained by the​ tape thus allowing the​ fascia to​ rest and​ heal . ​
the​ tape has to​ stick to​ the​ skin for​ it​ to​ work due to​ the​ tension being transferred through to​ the​ skin . ​
Specific athletic tape should be used . ​
Podiatrists recommend that the​ tape be applied every morning and​ removed every evening to​ allow the​ skin to​ breathe . ​

Shoe Inserts
Shoe inserts are by far the​ most effective treatment used to​ manage plantar fasciitis . ​
They help reduce stress at​ key weight points . ​
Keep each foot properly aligned and​ cradle, which stabilises your heels . ​
a​ strategically placed heel insert made of​ poron foam absorbs the​ pounding foot shock of​ each step . ​

Intially you​ should decrease any strenuous activities such as​ sports and​ long walks to​ allow inflammation in​ the​ fascia to​ decrease . ​

Ice and​ Heat
Proven therapy for​ plantar fasciitis by alternating application of​ heat and​ cold coupled with massage works wonders to​ relieve pain, reduce swelling and​ promote healing . ​
Use ice pack in​ morning and​ heat pack in​ the​ evening . ​

Hot/Cold Packs provide therapy that’s constantly in​ touch with sore muscles, tendons and​ tissue . ​
Microwave or​ freeze the​ packs depending on the​ desired treatment cold therapy is​ especially beneficial in​ the​ treatment of​ plantar fasciitis heel pain . ​
Apply cold therapy initially and​ heat therapy when the​ heel is​ in​ the​ healing phase . ​

Night Splints
Heel pain night splints maintain the​ ankle in​ a​ upward position and​ toe extension, creating a​ constant mild stretch of​ the​ plantar fascia that allows it​ to​ heal at​ a​ functional length . ​

Speed up the​ heeling process of​ plantar fasciitis FXT Night Splints with this low profile, thermal lined bootie from SwedeO . ​
the​ PF FXT allows you​ to​ sleep comfortably while gently stretching out the​ plantar fascia, the​ band of​ connective tissue that runs from the​ heel to​ the​ toe . ​
Slip on the​ bootie and​ adjust the​ dorsal flexion amount of​ tension to​ pull back the​ toes towards the​ ankle . ​

One of​ the​ most effective treatment options for​ plantar fasciitis is​ stretching . ​
Tightness in​ the​ plantar fascia occurs if​ the​ achilles tendon and​ calf muscles tension increases . ​
Tightening in​ these muscles increases dorsiflexion upward movement of​ the​ large toe which stretches the​ plantar fascia causing it​ to​ inflame . ​

Therefore it​ makes sense that reduction of​ the​ tightness of​ the​ achilles tendon and​ calf muscles will have a​ positive effect on heel pain . ​

Example Stretch
Plantar fasciaspecific stretch . ​
Patient crosses affected foot over contralateral leg, grasps the​ base of​ toes, and​ pulls the​ toes back towards the​ shin, until a​ stretch in​ the​ arch is​ felt . ​
the​ stretch is​ held for​ 10 seconds and​ repeated . ​
Three sets of​ 10 repetitions are performed daily . ​

Corticosteroid Injections
Limited evidence supports the​ use of​ corticosteroid injections to​ manage plantar fasciitis . ​
I ​ have known patients that have had a​ corticosteriod injections in​ the​ heel by their doctor and​ they have reported extreme pain with very little benefit . ​

Emu Muscle and​ Joint Gel
This gel, blended with Blackpepper and​ Eucalyptus Essential Oil is​ excellent for​ relieving muscular aches such as​ heel pain . ​

Directions gently rub in​ a​ thin coat of​ gel to​ the​ affected area . ​
Repeat up to​ four times daily with 34 hours between applications . ​
if​ symptoms persist, consult a​ health professional . ​

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy ESWT
A relatively new treatment option for​ heel pain is​ ESWT which involves the​ usage of​ high intensity sound waves to​ cause neovascularization tissue repair . ​
ESWT should be used in​ conjuciton with other conservative options such as​ stretching, orthotics, activity modifications and​ maintaining a​ healthy weight . ​
the​ success of​ ESWT is​ difficult to​ establish due to​ different levels of​ intensity being use by different practitioners . ​
However, anecdotal evidence suggests that this treatment option can be successful, ESWT is​ not available in​ all podiatrist surgeries and​ is​ generally only available in​ specialist clinics . ​

Casting is​ rarely a​ treatment option for​ heel pain . ​
Podiatrists have applied wellpadded fiberglass walking casts with the​ ankle in​ a​ neutral to​ slight dorsiflexion upward position . ​
There has been many long term studies carried out on this treatment option but overall casting works in​ a​ similar fashion to​ plantar fasciitis night splints . ​

Surgery for​ plantar fasciitis should be the​ last option as​ success rates can be as​ low as​ 37% and​ as​ high as​ 60% . ​

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