At Physical Therapy NOW in Irving, we see plenty of people with heel pain. In fact, it’s rather common. But that doesn’t make it any less painful. That’s why we’re here, though–to help you through your heel pain so you can move around freely, without discomfort. First, it’s important to learn about heel pain and why it occurs.
Causes of Heel Pain
While there are several possible causes for heel pain, two major culprits stand apart from the rest–plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes and occurs when the fascia becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in the heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is felt in the bottom of the heel.
Achilles tendinitis, on the other hand, is pain felt in the back of the heel and is caused by repetitive or intense strain on the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. This Achilles tendon–which is the largest tendon in the human body–is used when you walk, run, jump, or push up on your toes, so it’s easy to see why these are such common injuries. Other potential causes of heel pain include a ruptured tendon, bursitis, a bone spur, arthritis, and a fracture, among others.
Treating and Preventing Heel Pain
Depending on the severity of the pain and the specific condition, heel pain can sometimes be treated at home through simple measures such as:
- Over-the-counter pain medications or anti-inflammatory medication.
Other ways to relieve heel pain, especially when you’re on your feet, include:
- Foot supports for your shoes
- New, better-fitting shoes
- A night splint/brace, which gently stretches the plantar fascia as you sleep
- Weight loss, which can help alleviate pressure on your heel
For more severe heel pain or injury, a pain-relieving cortisone shot or even surgery may be required by your physician.
Physical Therapy for Heel Pain
Physical therapy can also be quite beneficial for heel pain. There are plenty of exercises that stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and also strengthen lower leg muscles, which will also help to build muscle to support the tendons and ligaments. The use of therapeutic bands can isolate muscle groups and balance exercises to strengthen the muscles in the foot, ankles, and calf. Applying athletic tape to support the bottom of your foot is also helpful.
Heel Pain Treatments
Once you have a diagnosis for your heel injury, come see us at Physical Therapy NOW in Irving. During your first visit, we’ll do a thorough evaluation and work with you to create the right treatment plan just for you. With our experienced physical therapists and state-of-the-art facility in Irving, we’ll have you back on your (pain-free) feet before you know it! Call us today at (214) 225-0291 to schedule your first visit, and we’ll get you on the road to recovery right away.