Heel pain is called talalgia and is one of the most frequent changes in the Podology consultation. The origin of the calcaneal pain is so varied that we may be faced with a general process, caused for example by physical exercise after training, such as the presence of the spine of the calcaneus, or a more complex rheumatic manifestation.
Who is most vulnerable to heel pain?
The highest incidence of talalgia (calcaneal pain) is seen in middle-aged men and women. It also occurs in individuals who exercise regularly (due to impact and stretching forces), as well as in people who are obese or walk a lot during the day.
The causes of top heel pain
Heel pain, despite numerous etiologies, is usually associated with the individual’s biomechanical changes (anomalies of the foot’s position or gait) in most cases. These changes can cause too much pressure from the bone itself (calcaneus bone) or soft tissues around it.
Stress can also result from a trauma occurring during running or jumping, poor footwear (particularly footwear wear), or by overweight (obesity).
Systemic diseases such as arthritis or diabetes can also contribute to pain.
Heel Spur: a common cause of heel pain is the heel spur, a bony projection located in the area calcaneal. There is no visible change in the heel, only being detected by Rx. The patient manifests a pain, located in the inner plantar part of the heel. Approximately 10% of the population may present spurs of the calcaneus without revealing pain.
The Spurs of the calcaneus are thought to be formed by excessive traction or repeated microtrauma of the plantar fascia, caused in the majority of cases by biomechanical imbalances.
Plantar fasciitis: Heel pain and spur of the calcaneus are often associated with inflammation of the plantar fascia (a band of fibrous connective tissue that surrounds the sole from the heel to the front of the foot). The inflammation of this plantar arch is called plantar fasciitis.
The inflammation may be aggravated by the lack of foot support, especially in the area of the plantar arch, and by the consequent stretching of the plantar fascia.
Other causes of heel pain
- Excessive pronate movement of the foot (falling from the inner side of the foot inwards).
- Inflammation of the serous pouches (bursitis) of the posterior calcaneus path.
- Nerve compression (tarsal canal syndrome)
- Calcaneal stress injuries or fractures.
How to overcome the problem?
If pain and other symptoms of inflammation persist, such as localized pain when putting your foot on the floor, redness, swelling, and local temperature rise, you should consult your Podiatrist. Your Podologist may require appropriate Rx for the visualization of possible heel spurs or fractures.
Initial treatment may involve recommendation of appropriate footwear, compression bandage, and local anti-inflammatory drugs. If your Podologist sees the possible biomechanical alteration of the foot or gait, the application of a customized insole, adapted to the clinical situation, will contribute to the resolution of the problem.
Your recovery will depend on the etiologic factor (cause) of the heel pain and your health status. In a healthy person with calcaneal spur or plantar fasciitis, it will usually take six to eight weeks for clinical improvement.
Prevention of future problems
Footwear: Buy shoes that fit your foot – front, back and sides of the shoe. The single shock absorber and heel zone with support.Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on the sole and heel. You can use Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis to help relief or prevent the pain.
Stretching and exercise: Make a pre-exercise preparation. Do warm-up exercises before running or walking and stretching exercises at the end of the workout. Appropriate your athletic activities with good walking shoes to your state of adapting to training and your health. If you are overweight, try activities that require little weight, such as swimming or cycling.