Written by Kera Dale on January 5th 2022
In the United States alone, approximately 2 million Americans suffer from arch or heel pain each year. Heel pain is typically located on the underside of the heel, and occasionally behind it. While this is rarely a symptom of a serious health condition, it can escalate to the point where normal activity, especially exercise, can be extremely painful. Although mild pain in the heel area can commonly disappear on its own, severe pain can become persistent and chronic if ignored.
Heel Pain Causes Most heel pain is caused by a condition known as plantar fasciitis. From simple physical activities, such as walking and standing, to more strenuous weight-bearing exercises, such as dancing and jogging, the feet are constantly subjected to significant stresses. Due to their strategic location and function, the heel is vulnerable to damage, injury and pain. One of the most common causes of heel and arch pain is overuse/ repetitive exertion with inadequately supportive shoes. Why Is Heel Pain In The Morning Worse? The typical symptoms of heel pain present themselves gradually. In most cases, pain is felt on the bottom of the heel. Discomfort can also extend into the arch. The pain is most intense when resuming activity after rest and tends to decrease with continued motion. This is due to the fact that the plantar fascia (the ligament that is strained in heel pain) tightens as we sleep. When we first step down again, a shocking tight pain can be felt! Plantar fasciitis can also worsen at the end of the day after long periods of standing or walking. Swelling, inflammation and stiffness are other symptoms that may be associated with this type of heel pain. Side Heel Pain? Inside Heel Pain? Pain In The Left Heel vs. The Right? Is It All The Same? Plantar fasciitis most commonly causes sharp, stabbing pain right under the heel. It is most painful after the foot has been at rest. This could be when getting up in the morning or after having been seated for a long time. However, it is not uncommon to develop heel pain in other locations of the heel such as the outer side, the inside, or only the left or right heel. What Is a Typical Recovery Time For Pain In My Heel? The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society has recommended the use of over-the-counter insoles and stretching exercises as a starting point for heel pain treatment. According to one study performed, approximately 95 percent of women who wore over-the-counter shoe inserts and followed a simple stretching regimen experienced significant relief from heel pain in eight weeks. This illustrates what many have experienced in the past, that over-the-counter orthotic shoe inserts can be used as a highly effective first line of therapy for heel pain with positive results. Can Heel And Arch Pain Go Away? There are quite a few conditions that can result in heel pain and arch pain. If you can figure out what the underlying cause is, you may be able to get rid of your pain.