Sunday, July 3rd, 2011
There are usually two places on the heel that people complain of pain, under the heel and in the back of the heel. Usually, when people suffer from pain in the back of the heel it is related to excessive use or inflammation of the Achilles tendon. When people feel heel pain, it can be caused by a person stepping on a large stone or rock which bruises the heel, or the plantar fascia can be inflamed. A heel that is injured by a sharp object will heal on its own over time. Nonetheless, if the heel pain is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, there are a few things that need to be done to help including plantar fasciitis exercises and orthotics.
The plantar fascia is the soft tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes. Under normal conditions, the plantar fascia is a flexible and strong part of the foot that helps the foot to hold up our weight and keeps us balanced. If the foot is under abnormal stress, such as excessive body weight, repetitive movements from sports, age or compromised foot function, it can create small tears in the plantar fascia. These small tears typically are found near the heel bone, where they become inflamed and cause pain. If this tissue is repeatedly stretched it can create the creation of heel spurs. Heel spurs are boney growths on the heel that can be the reason for quite a bit pain.
If you are feeling heel pain, a popular strategy to help alleviate the stress on the plantar is to use orthotic arch supports and do plantar fasciitis stretching exercises, that will strengthen the plantar fascia as well. One of the prescribed plantar fasciitis exercises is to stretch the foot before rising from bed. The Plantar Fascia tends to tighten when you sleep, which tends to cause the strong pain that people feel when they get up. By stretching the foot arch before putting pressure on it, you can help reduce the pain that you experience with your first morning steps. Another useful exercise for stretching out the plantar fascia is to roll a tennis ball or rolling pin with the arch of your foot. As this becomes less and less painful you can try standing up and doing the same exercise.
The next helpful thing to do is immediately put on a sturdy pair of shoes and orthotic inserts. This will help to cushion and support the foot arch and help to keep it from more injury. If you make use of the proper plantar fasciitis exercises and orthotic arch supports, you will see a great improvement in your heel pain. You should really pay attention to your body and if you are feeling foot pain, see a doctor as soon as possible. This will ensure that your pain does not turn into a more serious issue.
Over-pronation has different causes. Obesity, pregnancy, age or repetitive pounding on a hard surface can weaken the arch, leading to over-pronation. Over-pronation is also very common with athletes, especially runners, most of whom nowadays wear orthotics inside their shoes.