January 21, 2018

Why does the bottom of my heel hurt?

iStock heel pain

Have you ever woke up in the morning and stood up out of bed with the feeling of a knife sticking you in the bottom of your heel?  The pain is nearly crippling at first but as you take a few steps the pain eases a bit.  The same happens after periods of sitting or driving in a car for sometime.  You go to stand up or get out of your car and put on some kind of display like your firewalking on hot coals.

The likely cause of the pain is an inflamed plantar fascia.  The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of tissue that originates from the under surface of your heel and inserts to the bones under the ball of your foot.  The plantar fascia serves a few purposes but primarily is a passive supporting structure for the arch of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascial tissue gets over-loaded.   This may simply occur from too much standing or walking or maybe you performed a lot of ladder work while doing a weekend home project.  Usually the  inflammation develops as a result from doing an activity that your body isn’t ordinarily conditioned to.   The inflammation is localized at the junction between the heel bone and fascial fibers.  A person usually has moderate to severe point tenderness just slightly forward from the center of the heel.

S. White


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