When you think of heel pain, what comes to mind? Anyone who has experienced this condition understands the uncomfortable sensation in the back of your foot whenever you get up in the morning or take a step after sitting for too long. Heel pain, especially from plantar fasciitis, affects thousands of people every year, limiting their mobility and affecting their activities.
Inflammation in the Heel
The most common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis, is an uncomfortable swelling and tightening of the plantar fascia tissue. This tissue is a ligament that runs from your toes to your heel bone, where it attaches. It helps support the arch and provide some shape and protection for the sole of your foot. The band of connective tissue stretches somewhat when you step to help absorb shock.
However, too much pressure on this ligament stresses it. You may even develop microtears, which cause inflammation and stiffness. Continued pressure on your foot from walking aggravates the problem, so it worsens with time. You feel pain underneath your heel when you stand or walk around. This discomfort is typically worst when you first get up in the morning or after sitting for a long period of time. When you rest, your plantar fascia tightens up. Then, when you put weight on your foot again, the tissue is suddenly and forcefully stretched, causing damage and discomfort. Intense activity can also trigger the heel pain.