Heel Pain and its Two Most Common Causes

Heel pain is a very common problem in people of all ages. It is a general complaint that can be caused by a variety of conditions. When treating heel pain, it is necessary to know the specific cause of the pain. This would make it possible to apply a treatment method appropriate for a certain heel problem.

Before you schedule for an appointment, it would be helpful to know two of the common causes of heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a strong and thick tissue that runs from the calcaneus or the heel bone to the toes. Basically, the plantar fascia maintains the arch of the foot. It is also subjected to a lot of stress when it bears the weight of the body. Injury or inflammation occurs when the fascia becomes too tight or undergoes severe stress when walking or running.

Posterior heel pain means pain at the back of the foot or heel. This is also called Achilles tendinitis and is due to inflammation and injury of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It attaches the calcaneus bone to the calf muscles. When running or walking, the tendon works like a spring. This spring reaction or elastic storage energy can generate a running speed of 80 percent or more. Injury and inflammation occurs due to overuse and sudden or forceful stretching that can tear the tendon, similar to those seen in Olympic runners.

Both of these conditions can effectively be treated by Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy or ESWT. Approved by the FDA to treat plantar fasciitis, ESWT can also be used in Achilles tendinitis. Very similar to ultrasound, this procedure locally stimulates the body's own healing process in dealing with tendinitis.


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