We’re a hiking and running kind of town, but if you struggle with heel and arch pain, it can certainly put a damper on your daily activities. Knowing what’s behind your aching arches and hurting heels will help you determine how to treat the problem—or better yet, avoid it all together.
Heel and arch pain is also referred to as plantar fascia pain. That’s because the fibrous band of tissues that span from heel to toe and form your arch is what’s called your plantar fascia. This band helps you to absorb shock and stress, remain stable when you step, and adapt to uneven terrain—pretty prevalent here in Colorado! With so much responsibility placed upon it, it’s easy to see why this part of your foot can be vulnerable to injury.
Here are some common culprits that could be causing your troubles:
Faulty Foot Structure. Yes, genetics may be to blame! Sometimes, you’re simply born prone to plantar fascia problems because of a structure that results in bad biomechanics, placing undue pressure on your arch and heel. Having flat feet can cause overpronation (your foot rolls too far inward when you step) which can result in plantar fascia pain as well.
Standing Up on the Job. Occupations that require extended periods of time spent on your feet tend to put excessive stress on the plantar fascia, especially on hard surfaces.
Exercise Errors. Sometimes less is more. If you increase workouts too quickly or log lots of miles without ever taking a day off, you are putting yourself at risk of an overuse injury like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis—both of which will have your heels howling! Hard surfaces and the wrong shoes can add to the problem, too.
Age. It’s a fact of life that the older you get, the more wear and tear your body goes through, and that includes your feet. We can’t stop the clock, but we can help you avoid plantar fascia pain and keep your feet as healthy and strong as possible. Here are some helpful hints:
- Make sure you have shoes that fit well, offer plenty of cushion and support, and are appropriate for the activity.
- Slip some custom orthotics inside your shoes to correct structural issues and improve biomechanics.
- Take breaks at work as well as during workouts, and supplement high-impact activities with lower impact options like swimming and yoga.
- There are exercises you can do to help strengthen your feet and keep them limber.
For more information, or to make an appointment so we can assess your heel and arch pain and determine its culprit, call us at (303) 805-5156.