Many people are complaining about heel pain. Sometimes this happens so suddenly that those who are affected by it, do not know why this has happened. It can be so painful that they don’t know what to do.
Two closely related conditions— heel spurs and plantar fasciitis are common sources of pain in the heel and the arch of the foot. The pain sometimes occurs suddenly and is sometimes so painful that the person has to stop all activities. The pain, which is caused by heel spurs or plantar fasciitis often have similar symptoms. The pain is worse in the morning upon awakening and after sitting for awhile.
Walking may hurt at first, but after a little while, the pain may decrease. When there is too much activity, or if the shoe does not give enough support, the heel and arch pain can continue.
Switching from high heels or cowboy boots to flat shoes or athletic shoes can cause pain also. Working out or standing and walking on hard surfaces, or wearing shoes that does not have good arch support can also lead to the problem.
Before seeing a foot specialist, there are some things that can be done to relieve the pain. The first thing to do is to rest the foot, avoiding high-impact activities for three to six weeks. Switch to low-impact activities, such as walking, biking, or swimming. Apply ice to the heel two to three times a day. Protect the arches by placing arch supports in shoes and slippers.
If this problem continues, it can be treated successfully without surgery. Pills can be taken, or a person can take injections of cortisone.
If pills or cortisone injections do not help, there is still another treatment which has been very successful. This is a non-invasive treatment called Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT). The success rate using this procedure, as reported by Foot and Ankle Institute, is 80 percent.
This non-invasive treatment delivers high-energy sound waves to the heel which promotes normal tissue healing. This is an excellent method because it eliminates the possibility of complications that may be caused by traditional surgery. There are no incisions made, few side effects, and after the procedure, patients are usually able to return to their normal living. It is also good to know that in most cases, only one treatment is required.
Source: A Practical Guide to Everyday Health Decisions
Foot & Ankle Institute