Repetitive Strain Injury

heel painBottom Heel Pain – What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know

Over the past 14 years I have treated literally thousands of patients with foot pain, many of which complained of crippling heel pain.  A good number of these patients had been dealing with chronic foot pain for several years and many of them for decades.  The patients that most commonly suffered with such pain were those who encountered years of repetitive activities using their feet or with careers that required laboring hours of standing or walking.

Having diagnosed and treated thousands of heel pain sufferers I have come to the conclusion that over 90 percent of the time, pain on the bottom of the heel is due to inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a flat connective tissue band that connects from the bottom of the heel bone and spans the entire bottom surface of the foot to where it connects to the toes.  This condition is commonly referred to as plantar fasciitis.  If you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis it will be important for you to realize that the plantar fascia really is not the problem with your foot, rather the inflamed plantar fascia is actually the result of a much more serious underlying problem.

Many patients with plantar fasciitis also have a heel spur.  Although this may come as a surprise to you, the heel spur itself doesn’t cause pain.  The pain you feel is actually coming from irritated and inflamed nerve endings in and around the plantar fascia.  Once the actual foot problem is corrected you will still have the heel spur but there will not be any pain.  Many doctors make the mistake of focusing on the heel spur as being the problem when in actuality it really is not.

Have you ever wondered why some people who walk or stand a lot develop heel pain and yet others who may even be more active do not?  If merely standing or walking rigorously was the cause of plantar heel pain then you would expect almost everybody during some point in their lifetime to be afflicted with this disabling pain.  There has got to be something else that many doctors have never considered that leads one to the misery of plantar fasciitis.  Well there is…

The foot is designed with 26 carefully positioned bones arranged into four distinct arches and is held together by scores of ligaments, tendons and muscles.  When its structure and alignment is in-tact the foot can successfully absorb thousands of pounds of force throughout the day.  It is when the healthy alignment of the bony foot structure is lost that the plantar fascia spanning the bottom of the foot becomes compromised.  I have achieved a 95% success rate with my treatment for agonizing heel pain.

When the 26 foot bones are in their normal healthy alignment you should expect to see a perfect arch as you stand bare footed on a flat surface.  If however your foot arches fall and become flat or even if they are excessively high and rigid, this means that there are misalignments of the bones in your feet.  A foot with misaligned bones is much more likely to experience disabling heel pain, especially after standing or walking for extended periods of time.  There is an abnormal tugging, pulling and twisting force on the plantar fascia when the foot bones are misaligned.  Then with repeated standing and walking this plantar fascia is exposed to abnormally high levels of stress, which leads to it being irritated and inflamed.

© Robert J. Fenell, D.C.

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