Heel pain occurs in many people with prolonged standing, walking, jumping, or hiking activities. Pain begins increasing on the bottom of the heel. At first they say it starts a dull ache and develops into a sharp stabbing pain. The pain is most intense first thing in the morning. It can hurt whenever sitting for longer periods of time and then standing up to walk. Many people describe the pain as a sharp stab or ice pick through the bottom of the foot.
Heel pain is often the result of plantar fasciitis, which is an aggravation of the plantar fascia that runs on the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia runs from the heel towards the toes and helps support the foot arch. This area becomes injured with activities that increase stress on the feet such as running or walking.
Old and worn and shoes are often the result of heel pain. Check to see if your running, walking, casual, or dress shoes are getting worn out. Most times the pain begins very slowly over the course of weeks or months. Sometimes it can start after running longer distances.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition can be treated successfully. We recommend people start icing their heel at first sign of pain. In the pain does not go away in two weeks seek treatment. Waiting longer than two weeks increases the likelihood of developing severe symptoms.
Ice can be placed on the bottom of the foot in 15 minute intervals. Place an ice pack on the floor and a thin towel on top of the ice pack. Then place your foot on top of the cloth or 15 minutes. The area should cool but should not be painful. Then remove your foot from the ice pack for 15 minutes letting the area warm up. Repeat this process several times over the next few hours. People who ice their heel more often are more likely to get better faster. People who do not ice are most likely to have increasing heel pain symptoms.