Of all the different kinds of ways our feet and ankles can experience aches and pains, some experiences are perceived as more of a concern than others. This is for good reason - however, one of the most prominent aches and pains U.S. citizens experience is heel pain… yet heel pain is often overlooked as a normal and expected part of aging. Especially for anyone who is particularly active, heel pain can be written off merely as a symptom of fatigue and overuse. While this is true for some people, not every person's experience with heel pain is normal. While sometimes heel pain goes nearly unnoticed, it is often aggravated and made worse by overuse of our feet, landing on our heels in a painful way, or because of underlying issues with the internal structures of our feet. Studies have shown that nearly one out of every ten people experience heel pain, and more often than not, their heel pain can be diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.
Not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis, however! Sometimes a painful heel can be due to a stressed or injured Achilles tendon, bursitis, arthritis, heel spurs, or even a stress fracture. For minor heel pain, relief can be provided by a few simple tricks you can do yourself at home. Practicing daily foot massage can help relieve discomfort and aid in encouraging healthy, healing circulation. After a long day resulting in foot fatigue, putting your feet up above your heart will help keep new blood flowing and reduce uncomfortable inflammation and swelling. You could even try out some store-bought insoles meant for heel support! Take it a step further and ask about custom orthotics. Sometimes, the appropriate dosage of over-the-counter pain relievers can be a great resource, but be wary of how often you feel the need to use them.
If you find yourself using over-the-counter pain relievers more than once or twice a week, your heel pain might be more than just fatigue. You have options! You don’t have to simply put up with it. You can rely on Dr. Michelle Kurlanksi to address your heel pain and find what works for you. Give us a call today at (207) 774-0028 to schedule your next appointment at Lighthouse Foot & Ankle Center in Scarborough, Maine.