Considering the amount of time women over 50 have spent on their feet, it’s no surprise that many of us develop foot problems. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, every mile we walk places 60 tons of stress on each foot.
One of the most common ailments affecting the foot and ankle area is heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis symptoms have many causes including overuse (running, high-impact exercise, or standing for long periods of time), injury to the bottom of the foot, being overweight, or anatomical problems such as flat feet or a very high arch. Other possible causes of heel pain include arthritis, osteoporosis, tendonitis, a stress fracture, nerve irritation or a cyst.
According to an article in The Mercury, heel pain occurs in two areas: pain beneath the heel and pain behind the heel. Pain beneath the heel happens after a strain or injury to the tissues underneath the foot. Some common causes are a stone bruise, a heel spur, and plantar fasciitis.
A stone bruise — the result of stepping on a hard or sharp object — bruises the fat pad underneath your heel. Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that stretches from the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis symptoms include pain on the bottom of the heel, pain that worsens when you stand or moving after sitting for a time, and pain that increases over time (weeks and months) instead of improving.
If plantar fasciitis persists over a long period of time, a calcium deposit known as a heel spur can form where the tissue connects to your heel bone. Typically, plantar fasciitis symptoms increase gradually, along with thickened, red and swollen skin at the site of inflammation.. You may notice pain at night or while you are resting, or pain that flares when you first start an activity after being still. Sometimes the pain is so intense that you are unable to wear shoes.
Some plantar fasciitis symptoms can be treated at home with some simple remedies, including:
- Over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs
- Applying ice to the heel area for 20 minutes, several times a day, to reduce inflammation
- Performing certain stretching exercises that promote flexibility in calf muscles and the Achilles heel area
- Wearing supportive shoes with a good arch support, or wearing orthotics to correct any anatomical issues such as arch problems
- Also avoid going barefoot
If lifestyle modifications, stretching exercises and pain medication do not bring relief, your doctor may recommend wearing splints or taping your foot at night for stability, corticosteroid injections or as a last resort, surgery.
To discover more simple, effective and affordable plantar fasciitis treatments for foot pain relief by downloading our free white paper, Plantar Fasciitis Treatment: 5 Quick Fixes for Immediate Foot Pain Relief.