Heel Pain Explained: Meet Plantar Fasciitis
There are many fantastic family activities here in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth community. A trip to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is exciting for curious-minded youngsters, but all the walking entailed can put a damper on the day when you have heel pain. Wandering around permanent exhibits like Energy Blast, DinoLabs & DinoDig, Innovation Studios, and the Cattle Raisers Museum can aggravate it. If you sit down for a while to watch a movie in the IMAX dome or a planetarium show and feel a sharp, shooting pain under your heel when you stand up again, it might be plantar fasciitis.
Looking at this common source of heel pain begins with the plantar fascia. This connective tissue bridges the heel to the toes along the bottom of the foot. It provides structure and support for the arch, and can be thought of as a bowstring (with the arch being the “bow” in this image).
The fascia is durable and acts like a shock absorber, but too much pressure over time can damage or even tear the fibrous tissue. When this happens, the body works to repair the damage during periods of downtime, but the tissue becomes inflamed and causes heel stiffness and discomfort.
The intense, sharp pain is often experienced with the initial steps following rest. The reason behind this is simply that the mending tissue is subjected to pressure and the tears reopen. The subsequent pain is your body’s way of letting you know that you have a problem.
Some risk factors make this injury more likely:
- Age. This condition tends to be quite common between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Exercise. High-impact activities (dance aerobics, long-distance running) place excessive stress and lead to earlier onset of plantar fasciitis.
- Obesity. Extra weight means extra pressure on the plantar fascia.
- Biomechanical abnormalities. Flatfoot, high arches, and abnormal gait patterns affect the way physical forces are distributed across the foot and can contribute to problems.
If painful heels are interfering with your life and stripping away the enjoyment from activities like days at the Fort Worth Museum with your family, we can help. Our doctors at Dallas Podiatry Works will provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan to restore your health. Call us toll-free at (888) 716-5283 for additional information or to request a visit with us. You can also schedule your appointment at either our Dallas or Plano, TX offices online today.
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