Why Is There So Much Heel Pain Today?
You can pin the blame on a lot of factors, including expanding waistlines and substandard footwear. But one of the simplest explanations is simply a combination of gravity and modern surfaces.
Simply put, our feet weren’t designed to spend all day on hard, flat surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and linoleum. And over time, those forces can start to wear you down.
Specifically, the muscles and tendons that support the arch can weaken, which causes a cascade of problems. The arch drops. The ankle rolls inward. The foot and leg bones fall out of alignment with each other. And the heel is right at the center of it all, forced to absorb ever-greater impact forces with every step you take.
What Orthotics Can Do
A helpful analogy here would be to think of orthotics like a pair of glasses for your feet and arches. If you have a foot that is imbalanced or unstable, the orthotics can reposition them and support them so that they function as they are intended to function.
But even that analogy doesn’t quite work, because glasses won’t actually improve the quality of your biological eyes. Wearing the right pair of orthotics, however, can actually help the muscles of the bottom of your foot heal and get stronger, so they’re better able to resist gravity and reduce pain.
(This doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily be able to stop wearing orthotics entirely, but it does help make your orthotics perform better and last longer, and reduces your overall risk of recurring heel pain.)
The right pair of orthotics will not only provide cushioning for the heel itself, but also support the arch and keep it from collapsing. For one, that means the plantar fascia ligament isn’t going to be overstretched to the same degree (which is the cause of plantar fasciitis, the No. 1 heel pain diagnosis). And two, your feet and legs are going to be in better alignment with one another, and forces will be better distributed across the entire foot (and away from the heel).
The Help Your Heels Need, Today
As we said, heel pain affects millions of Americans, of every age and demographic. But that doesn’t make it “normal,” and it doesn’t mean you should just put up with it!
The expert team at Sunshein Podiatry Associates has helped countless patients from throughout the Dayton area overcome their heel pain through treatments such as orthotics, laser therapy, and more. We understand that every patient and every case is unique, and work hard to provide personalized treatment options that are both effective and appropriate for your lifestyle.
To schedule an appointment with us at our office in Centerville, please call (937) 435-7477 today.
Looking For More Info? Download Our Guide!
Exercise is just one component of living a healthy lifestyle despite your peripheral neuropathy. You also want to make sure you maintain a healthy diet, and of course work closely with your medical team (including the folks here at Sunshein Podiatry Associates) to make sure you get the advanced treatments you need.
To help you with the “at home” component, we’ve written a brief downloadable guide on health and wellness. Keep it on your phone or print it out to keep those diet and exercise guidelines easily accessible and top of mind!