The Cause and Effect of Heel Pain

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Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain in many individuals.  Although most commonly diagnosed in runners, individuals who are overweight, women who are pregnant, and those who wear shoes with inadequate support, are at an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis. The condition is characterized by a sharp pain that generally occurs during the first steps an individual takes first thing in the morning. After the foot warms up, the pain of the condition may decrease, but it may return after extended periods of time standing or after getting up from a seated position.

The pain and symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis can develop gradually, most frequently affecting a single foot although it can occur in both feet simultaneously.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a variety of reasons but certain factors can increase the risk of developing the condition. Overuse with age frequently irritates the plantar fascia, resulting in the well-known symptoms of heel pain and discomfort. Plantar fasciitis is most common in individuals between the ages of 40 and 60. Because women who are pregnant can often experience plantar fascia complications due to their added weight, plantar fasciitis is statistically more likely to occur in women than men. Also, certain types of exercise or physical activities which place an increased amount of stress on the heel and attached tissue, can greatly contribute to the early development of plantar fasciitis. Additionally, being flat-footed, having a high arch, or even having an abnormal pattern of walking or running can negatively affect the weight distribution within the body while standing, adding stress on the plantar fascia. Occupations that require longer periods of time walking or standing while on hard surfaces can also aggravate the plantar fascia and result in plantar fasciitis. And last but not least, improper footwear can commonly cause plantar fasciitis.

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The plantar fascia is a broad cord of tissue which normally functions to support the arch of the foot. For many individuals, when an excess amount of tension begins to build up on the plantar fascia, small tears can begin to develop on the tissue. With constant stretching and tearing, the fascia can become irritated and inflamed, causing pain and discomfort on the affected foot, a condition best known as plantar fasciitis.

For individuals with plantar fasciitis symptoms, conservative treatment such as chiropractic care, stretching, shoe inserts or orthotics, night splints, and taping, can offer positive effects towards treating the condition. Through the use of chiropractic adjustments, soft-tissue manipulation, and exercises, many individuals can experience relief of their plantar fasciitis symptoms with chiropractic treatment. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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