Our feet are usually subjected to constant strain and activity. We use them when we stand, when we walk, run and jump, and even when we are sitting down and change positions. In some situations, they can be more vulnerable to overstressing or injury, and become damaged. Excessive mechanical impact can hurt the tissue of our feet, as in the case of athletic activities on hard surfaces or carrying too much weight, including our own body weight. Also, structural issues like flat foot can interfere with the feet's natural capacity to support our body and the impact of running and jumping.
We develop feet conditions when this happens, and the most common symptom in these cases is pain. Here are the answers to frequent questions about foot pain.
People who experience heel pain often have a condition called plantar fasciitis. The pain is experimented as a throbbing feeling on the sole, close to the heel, in one or both feet. You have to identify the exact source of the pain so you can know how to treat it, but in most cases the same measures will do. They include massaging, exercising and using orthotic insoles.
Additional heel pain may be caused by a heel spur, or calcaneal spur. This is a small spike of bone that grows inwards from the heel and it inflammates soft tissue around it. Heel spurs very rarely require surgery and they dissappear once plantar fasciitis has been relieved.
Plantar fasciitis has a very particular symptomatology. If you feel throbbing pain on your sole, close to your heel, and the pain is worse after sleep or any situation in which you spend many hours without walking or standing, and then it eases after a while walking, then you are likely to have plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the soft tissue of your soles caused by overstretching or overstressing them. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include athletic activities on hard surfaces, overweight, standing many hours a day and having flat foot. If you have one or more of these risk factors you are more likely to have plantar fasciitis. However, if you experience this sort of pain you should consult a doctor to confirm the diagnosis.
Good news is that plantar fasciitis isn't a serious condition, and the damage that causes the pain usually relieves by itself over time. What you have to do if you have plantar fasciitis is to stop the factors that caused it in the first place, so you can let your own feet to regenerate and heal. Plantar fasciitis doesn't require surgery and medication is only advised if the pain persists or is too strong.
The best options for treating plantar fasciitis will depend on what caused it in the first place, but all of these often improve the condition. Read this information on How to treat Plantar Fasciitis.
Your podiatrist or physician can teach you some exercises that you can perform in order to both stretch and strenghten your feet musculature. If you do so, your feet will become able to supoprt all the stress they take every day without becoming damaged. These exercises often include stretching against a wall, picking up a ball with your toes, and doing a series of stretching movements with your arch.
Applying cold to your aching feet can reduce inflammation, and therefore relieve pain. If you have plantar fasciitis, it is advised that you use cold water immersions a few times a day. These baths usually relieve pain so well that patients rarely need to take antiinflammatories or analgesics.
In many cases, what works best for relieving heel pain is the use of orthotic insoles. They provide proper support for your feet and they also correct their shape in case that you have fallen arches or flat foot, a main cause of plantar fasciitis. Getting the right Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain) is actually easier than it seems, and even if you should make an appointment with a doctor in these cases, you don't need to buy them with a special prescription.
Off-the-shelf orthotic insoles work just as good as prescribed ones but they are much cheaper and you can buy them right away. You should use these insoles all day round, but don't expect the pain to go away completely until some weeks. Orthotics can help reduce the pain but you need to give the tissue of your soles time to regenerate and heal itself before the pain is eased.
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