Your foot and ankle are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons. The heel is the largest bone in your foot. If you overuse or injure your heel, you may experience heel pain. This can range from mild to disabling. Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis or runners heel and a condition called heel spur syndrome or calcaneal spur, when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation or, rarely, a cyst. Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. An xray helps in proper diagnosis.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis/ Calcaneum spur
It begins with first-line strategies, which you can begin at home itself.
1. Stretching exercises - Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles will help ease pain and assist with better recovery.
2. Avoid going barefoot - When you walk without shoes, you put undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia. So either wear MCR slippers or put gel padding in your slippers and shoes. Wearing supportive shoes that have good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia.
3. Ice - Putting an ice pack on your heel for 20 minutes several times a day helps reduce inflammation. Place a thin towel between the ice and your heel. Do not apply ice directly to the skin for long though you can always do a direct ice massage.
4. Limit activities - Cut down on extended physical activities to give your heel a rest to recover completely.
5. Medications - Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, maybe recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. Though it should be taken only after doctors advice.
6. Padding, taping and strapping - Placing pads in the shoe softens the impact of walking. Taping and strapping help support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia pain.
7. Night splint - Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain experienced by some patients.
8. Physical therapy - Ankle strengthening exercises and other physical therapy measures like Tens or laser may be used to help provide relief. So, it's important to do these exercises on a daily basis to get rid of annoying and irritating heel pain.