Heel pain is a very common injury regardless of your lifestyle or profession. Although Plantar Fasciitis is the most prevalent cause for heel pain, there are several other causes that are less commonly known. Hence, the purpose of this article is to help you better identify the type of injury you are suffering from and adopt an appropriate treatment method.
1) Achilles tendinitis
This injury is an inflammation on the Achilles tendon which is common among middle-age people, and sports such as Tennis, Basketball, and Soccer (Especially when it is only played on weekends or occasionally).
There are several causes, but the most common reason is due to the sudden increase in exercise intensity or duration. Many sports require running and jumping, when the soft tissues (e.g. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons) are not warmed up or strengthened progressively, the sudden exertion will over-strain them.
Some symptoms to look out for are: mild ache on the back of the feet or above the heel (Achilles tendon) after exercising or any form of physical activities. Pain may be more intense after prolong activities. For some, pain and stiffness may be experienced in the morning and improves with mild activity. For more severe cases, pain will be too intense and walking will be unbearable.
Some risk factors that could increase the likelihood of Achilles Tendonitis are flat arches as they will direct more stress towards the back of the feet, and worn-out shoes too as they do not help absorbing the impact on the feet.
Therefore, we recommend proper footwear (e.g. arch support and adequate cushion), and Achilles Tendonitis compression socks to prevent and relief pain from Achilles Tendonitis.
This injury is an inflammation in the small fluid-filled sacs (Bursa) around joints which usually occur near joints that perform frequent repetitive motion.
There are several causes for this injury, such as repetitive motions or positions that put pressure on the joint (e.g. swimming, baseball throwing...), trauma, inflamed arthritis, gout and infection.
Some symptoms to look out for are: Aching or stiffness in or around joint, joints will hurt more when moving or when pressure applied, and joints affected will be red and swollen.
Some risk factor that could increase the likelihood of Bursitis are types of footwear as poor conditioned footwear does not reduce impact on the heels and joints.
3) Haglund's deformity
This injury, similar to heel spur, is a bony enlargement growth on back of heel, which irritates the Achilles Tendon when the bony enlargement rubs against the shoes- causing painful bursitis and possible inflammation.
There are several causes for this injury and it is usually because of rigid backs shoes which applies pressure on the Achilles Tendon hence aggravating the enlargement when walking (e.g. dress shoes, pumps). Besides, there is also causes due to heredity. Such as people with high arched foot, tight Achilles Tendon, and a tendency to walk on outside of the heel.
Some symptoms to look out for are: Noticeable bump on back of heel, pain in the area where the Achilles Tendon is attached to the heel, swelling at the back of the heel, and redness around the back of the heel.
Some risk factors to take note of are the type of footwear. For example, shoes with a very rigid spine would increase the likelihood of a growth spurt on the heel.
Some footwear recommendation for Haglund’s deformity are Penetrex for pain relief, heel lifts to decrease pressure on heel, heel pads to cushion the heel and help reduce irritation, preferably backless or soft backed shoes, arch support to control motion of foot.
4) Stress Fractures
This is a very common injury that causes tiny cracks in the bone and it is very common on the foot as there are many bones joining together to form the foot structure.
There are many causes for this injury and most commonly it is due to repetitive force usually from overuse (e.g. jumping running), or because of a sudden increase in physical activity (e.g. frequency, intensity, types of activity). Alternatively, it could be also due to the weakening of bone from osteoporosis.
Some symptoms to look out for are: the pain tends to worsen with time, and some form of tenderness and swelling may be experienced.
Stress fractures have several risk factors that can increase the likelihood such as: flat feet or high rigid arches are more likely to develop stress fractures. Poor footwear condition (e.g. quality of shoe cushion) can increase the severity as the cushions are supposed to be in place to reduce impact on the bones/joints.
Some footwear recommendations for stress fractures are Penetrex for pain relief, insoles to distribute weight on feet evenly, heel pads to provide further support, and compression socks to hold the feet structures firm and tight.
If you happen to experience some of these signs and symptoms, give us a call at 65420245 or visit our specialist for a free consultation to find out more about how our products can help relief your pain!