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“Heal” Pain/ Heal Spurs/ Plantar Fasciitis Leave Many Craving Relief
While numerous factors and conditions can lead to foot pain, the most common is heal pain. You may also hear doctors refer to “heal” pain as Heal spur syndrome or plantar fasciitis; however, these conditions can be present with and without an actual bony spur.

“Heal” pain is indeed a serious condition sufferers cannot afford to ignore. Just stepping down on the foot, especially first thing in the morning, can cause immediate shooting “heal” pain. And pressing harder on a sore Heal, the way some do with a foot that’s fallen asleep, only makes your “heal” pain worse.

“Heal” pain can flare up when the plantar fascia ligament that stretches from the heel to the ball of the foot – which also supports the arch – becomes inflamed. Calcium deposits may eventually form on the heel bone, resulting in mild to serious heel pain when applying pressure on the foot.

Heel spurs and heal pain typically occur in people with flat feet. As the arch starts to collapse, the band of ligament and the muscle in the bottom of the foot absorbs the impact of pressure from standing or walking. Eventually, it stretches beyond its limits, leading to possible muscle tears and bone spurs. To avoid “heal” pain, people with flat feet should make a special effort to wear support shoes with arch support.

Other causes of “heal” pain include:
  • High arches that pull on the muscles.
  • Tight calves muscles caused from poor or little stretching.
  • Muscle tension that pulls away a piece of the bone.
Your “heal” pain is the result of foot muscles tightening up overnight. The tightened muscles accentuate the pull on the heel bone spur and ligaments, or plantar fascia, making your first steps painful. You know you have “heal” pain if getting out of bed in the morning and stepping down makes you want to yell out. In fact, the medical term for heel pain, post-static dyskinesia, means “pain after rest.”

You may also notice symptoms of “heal” pain when:
  • Plunging into exercise without warming up first.
  • Moving after any inactivity, such as sitting in a car or at a desk. The initial movement will result in sharp, shooting heel pain, giving you a sore or painful heel.
Relief and Prevention:
Taking the pressure off the foot goes a long way in helping relieve “heal” pain.

Other “heal” pain treatment/ plantar fasciitis treatment techniques include:
  • Wearing proper footwear for both everyday and sporting activities.
  • Using insoles that support the arch and reduce tension on the ligament.
  • Making use of a heel pad, heel cushion or slight heel lift to relieve pressure and reduce inflammation of the plantar at its attachment to the heel bone.
  • Correcting leg length discrepancy via an adjustable heel lift.
  • Using a heel cup to add extra shock absorption to shoes, thus reducing pressure on heels.
  • Giving the afflicted area an ice massage to reduce inflammation and relieve tension.
  • Stretching calf muscle to reduce tightness.
  • Maintaining length of the tight calf muscle with the use of a night splint.
In severe and chronic cases, heel spurs may require surgical correction. If heal pain is chronic and persists, see a podiatrist for specific heel pain treatment.

Information on foot, leg and lower body health conditions provided by The Podiatry Institute, dedicated to advancing the standard of care in podiatric medicine and its effects on muscoskeletal health. 
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FootSmart lower body health condition content pages describe general principles of healthcare that should not in any event be construed as specific instructions for individual consumers. This material is not intended as a guide to self-medication or as a substitute for proper medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This healthcare content is for reference only and should not be used to determine treatment for specific medical conditions – only a healthcare provider can do that.

You should discuss the information provided with a podiatrist, physician or other licensed healthcare professional, and make sure to read any product information (including package inserts) regarding dosage, precautions, warnings, interactions and contraindications before administering or using any device, support, brace, compression hosiery, shoes intended for use by diabetics, skincare product, herb, vitamin or supplement discussed on this site.

Proper treatment of lower body health conditions depends upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to, your medical history, diet, lifestyle and medications that may be taking. Your healthcare provider can best assess and address your individual healthcare needs.
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