‘Waging War on Foot Pain’

**’Waging War on Heel Pain’ main image courtesy of Aussie Soles. 2019 Sponsors of War on Foot Pain

Heel pain and fasciitis are enemies and we need to wage war and target their source for this month’s contribution to my Pain Series  on ConsultingFootPain. Just under a week ago I tackled the four biggies. Calcaneal apophysitis in there adolescent, the Haglund’s deformity or heel bump. Repetitive heel pad strain and fasciitis are bed fellows and overlap. As always we  seek reliable and trusted material. Footlocker aims to take foot health material, sometimes of a dubious nature, and check it out for readers so that they know the true value behind that information. The feature in this article covers fasciitis.

A free sheet on self-help is included (click to download). Other articles relating to the heel include burning pain and the difference between fasciitis and plantar fibroma.


 Early morning heel pain?

It is always good to wage war on foot pain but first we must understand the condition. Most of us might associate that early morning pain with the alarm clock going off way too soon, but that first step could be a nerve pain, or more often a pain associated with the heel. A quick chat to a friend, or a search on Google or Bing and you soon might come to the conclusion that you have a problem called Fasch… something. Now you enter a world of confusion because the picture is complicated with numerous ideas about cure. 

 

The condition is pronounced Fasch-Ey-Ite-Tis and spelled as fasciitis with two i’s, but it also has other names such as heel spur, Policeman’s heel and repetitive heel pad strain. Let’s take a look at what has been published and do a little critique as an academic exercise. In the following paragraphs I have pooled selected facts about heel pain from several sites.


Why is fasciitis a type of heel pain?

The band that runs over the sole of the foot muscles is normally thin and made of fibrous like tissue (sinew). Let’s be clear, this is not a true ligament as it has a different composition and function, but like ligaments it does contain similar protein structures called collagen. You will find the white material that makes up fascia stuck to muscle when you cut through the Sunday roast, if you eat meat. Fascia has no nutritional value and would be chewy in the mouth. It has little blood supply and is designed to add tension across the sole of the foot so that the four layers of small muscles are contained between the muscle groups. Fascia therefore acts as a partition for muscle groups and is a soft attachment for some. The fascial band adds to the mechanical stability, hence why some might think this a ligament. It retains energy and helps add to the spring in walking. The problem is that it can suffer inflammatory changes if strained.

The layer is usually 1-3mm thick. If this thickens due to micro tears, it can become tender on the inside front edge of the heel and centrally, causing the heel to ache. Added to this, the heel pad can swell and become tense, especially first thing in the morning. The band can tear or even rupture. Fasciitis is not the same as Policeman’s heel which traditional was a swelling in the heel due to a sac called a bursa but there’s no need to be too picky and often these sacs are not easy to find. Pain is pain!


FACTS on heel pain ?

Check the internet with Footlocker!

Runners in particular seem to dominate the field so we can look here at an interesting article from 2017 and ‘HEELTHATPAIN’. 

At Footlocker I have put together some responses to comments made on the internet from a sports group called ‘Heelthatpain’. While in no way do I condemn the idea that these facts are not an important resource, I have less support for companies that use facts to sell products based on perhaps a little too much fear. Now I happen to like the type of sandals from Aussie Soles for example [Click on sandal article], and I do not suggest these will automatically fix your heel pain but any product with a moulded heel set can make a helpful contribution. Stabilising the foot and ensuring good tendon/muscle power and suppleness is also important. The third factor is occupational. Fail to address causes from an occupation will lead to disappointing results.

Here are two facts from the internet. If you are keen to learn more about these facts on heel pain and what had been published please click to download the full set of comments backed by my take and experience supported by a the latest literature (click here). 

Fact 1 True

INTERNET: Heel Spurs Don’t Always Cause Pain: Approximately 38 percent of the population has a heel spur–but many don’t even know it! One study that spanned 45 years found that that heel spurs weren’t ever the cause of pain for many people who had them: 

FOOTLOCKER: The source was Hechmi. This fact is true. We often x-ray patients feet and find the foot that doesn’t hurt has a spur of no consequence.

Fact 2 Untrue

INTERNET: Heel Spurs Can Cause Morning Heel Pain: If you have plantar fasciitis, you’re all too familiar with morning pain–those first excruciating steps after getting out of bed. Why? Heel spurs are often enemy #1 as they dig into already-tender tissue for the first time after a period of inactivity. 

FOOTLOCKER: Heel pain in the morning arises due to a swollen heel pad even though rested overnight. Upon standing the pain nerve fibres are activated and settle after a minute or two as the fluid is redistributed with walking. The story around heel spurs is inaccurate. Spurs do not dig into the tissue.


OTHER RESOURCES FROM

CLICK HERE  to access full internet critique covering fasciitis 


Also download my latest foot pain series on other forms of heel pain published 1/11/19

HERE

ALSO OTHER RELIABLE SOURCES 

 from FootEducation, my 5-star recommended web source [click here
Edited on September 5, 2017. Foot Education.com is an independent source unrelated to ConsultingFootPain. 

My FOOT PAIN JOURNEY BOOKS for purchase include Mortons Neuroma and Bunion. Behind the scenes now available from Amazon books [click direct link]

Thanks for reading ‘Waging War on Foot Pain’ written by David Tollafield. Published November 5th November 2019.