Heel pain is a common complaint, especially among athletes and older adults—where it affects 10% of adults over 50. Overuse due to rigorous exercise regimes, or simply being overweight can lead to pain under or around the heel of one or both of your feet.
The average American walks about two miles a day as they go about their daily routine. But the ideal distance to walk to stay strong and healthy is five miles or 10 000 steps a day. Sadly, if you suffer from heel pain, simple daily tasks hurt—and being active feels impossible! Ignoring heel pain increases your risk of further injury and reduced mobility in the long run.
Unlike prescription meds, chiropractic care tackles the cause of the problem to help you heal—and experience relief at the same time! Let’s take a closer look at the common causes of heel pain and how chiropractic care can help.
Types of Heel Pain
There are many causes of heel pain. Let’s consider the three most common causes and some of the lifestyle factors that might trigger or worsen each condition.
Plantar Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
There is a thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs under the length of your foot that connects your heel bone and your toes. This band supports your arch and acts as a shock absorber as you walk or run. When this band gets inflamed, you feel plantar heel pain.
This stabbing sensation in your heel is worse after long periods of standing or as you get up in the morning. Pressure and overuse appear to trigger this condition. It is common among overweight individuals and athletes—whose feet experience increased pressure as they train.
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Overuse, inflammation, or intense use after a period of rest can lead to pain—either around your calf muscles or your heel. Chronic tendonitis can weaken the tendon and increase your risk of a tear and surgical intervention!
Older men often experience this condition, but any athlete can suffer from it, especially long-distance runners. Your gait (how you walk and run), running shoes, and exercise regime are major players when it comes to Achilles tendonitis. Be sure to wear shoes that provide arch support and cushioning under your heel, ease into your workout gently—and slow down when you feel pain!
Bursitis of the Heel
There are small, fluid-filled sacs around the joints of your body, including your heels. These sacs absorb shock and reduce friction as you move. When these sacs get irritated from overuse or injury, it causes inflammation and pain around your heel.
Runners and athletes are more likely to suffer from bursitis but can find relief in correcting their gait, selecting the correct shoes, resting, and allowing their bodies to heal fully before putting stress on their heels again.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help Alleviate Your Heel Pain
Chiropractic care provides a holistic and drug-free solution to heel pain—and benefits your body as a whole! These are the key elements of a typical treatment plan.
Adjustments and Manual Therapy
Your chiropractor will check that your ankle joints are aligned and not causing unnecessary stress on your heel. Manual therapy (massage) will promote circulation, reduce inflammation, and provide much-needed pain relief around your heel.
Unfortunately, prolonged heel pain causes other imbalances in your body as you naturally compensate for it by changing the way you walk. Your chiropractor will examine your spine and hips and ask you to demonstrate your walk. Expect some spinal adjustments and tips on how to improve your gait and posture, as well as the correct shoes to invest in.
Targeted Exercises and Stretches
Your chiropractor will also treat heel pain through targeted exercises and stretches that relieve tension around your heel. Did you know that these are more effective than other aids—like adding insoles to your shoes? Expect to do some homework after your appointments, the results are so worth it!
If heel pain is slowing you down and affecting your health, contact Integrated Health & Injury, your local chiropractor in Atlanta and Decatur, Georgia, and take your first step to get back on your toes—minus the pain!
Use our contact form, or dial one of these numbers:
Decatur – 404-288-9000
Atlanta – 404-691-4822