What causes heel pain?
We know heel pain occurs when the tissue in that area, whether it’s bone, plantar fascia, fat pad or even the Achilles tendon is overloaded. Basically this means it can’t repair itself to remain at a healthy enough level to strengthen and allow further running.
Below are the most common causes that even without seeing a Podiatrist you can identify with.
Dramatic increases in load:
This essentially means if you overdo it, you run the risk of having heel pain. For example, if you’re conditioned to running three times a week and suddenly increase it to five times a week we see a much larger chance of injury.
This unfortunately is a relatable risk factor, one that is often difficult to control, but it increases the downward pressure on the feet and legs, hence greater amounts of tissue stress.
Gluteal and lower limb strength deficits.
If we take a look at this more closely, we look at this as strength and conditioning. A lot of us run, but don’t prehab. Prehab being pre-rehabilitation as opposed to rehabilitation. The prevention of injury can be orchestrated with the correct strength and conditioning program.
Joint restriction within the foot and ankle.
This is difficult to assess, however we look at how one joint affects the others, if there is stiffness and restriction at one joint the stress of running or walking struggles to dissipate and may overload a unsuspecting structure more so than it is used to. Furthermore, these restrictions can contribute to abnormal foot compensatory movements.
By identifying one of more of these factors we can start to make subtle shifts in our behaviour, sometimes it isn’t this simple, that is when we suggest you seek professional advice. It may prevent months or even years of foot pain.