The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot, which also has 33 joints and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Like all bones, it is subject to outside influences that can affect its integrity and its ability to keep us on our feet.
Heel pain, sometimes disabling, can occur in the front, back, or bottom of the heel. Heel pain has many causes. Heel pain is generally the result of faulty biomechanics (walking gait abnormalities) that place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues that attach to it. The stress may also result from injury, or a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing poorly constructed footwear (such as flimsy flip-flops); or being overweight. Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of fibrous connective tissue (fascia) running along the bottom (plantar surface) of the foot, from the heel to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is very common cause of heel pain, and can be quite painful.
A variety of steps can be taken to avoid heel pain and plantar fasciitis:
• Wear shoes that fit well—front, back, and sides—and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks, and supportive heel counters
• Wear the proper shoes for each activity
• Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
• Prepare properly before exercising. Warm up and do stretching exercises before and after running.
• Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
• Don't underestimate your body's need for rest and good nutrition
• If obese, lose weight
If pain and other symptoms of inflammation—redness, swelling, heat—persist, limit normal daily activities and contact Cornerstone Foot and Ankle for an appointment today at 856-582-6082
Cornerstone Foot & Ankle is a full service foot and ankle specialty office with locations in Sewell, Cherry Hill, Marlton, Mt. Holly, Woodbury, and Glassboro; serving the South Jersey region. We offer a full suite of services including surgery, fracture care, fungal nail care, diabetic foot care, pediatric podiatry, custom braces and orthotics, wound care, limb salvage, and treatments for arch pain, heel pain, and sports injuries; just to name a few. If it hurts below your knee, we can help you! CALL NOW or request your appointment online TODAY!