Understanding Heel Pain
While foot problems such as bunions, corns and dry, cracked skin affect many Americans on a daily basis, one particular ailment—heel pain—stands out as one of the most commonly experienced, yet least treated, of all foot disorders.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), heel pain affects 16 percent of the population regularly. While millions of Americans every day experience this and countless other foot ailments, it’s important to remember that foot pain of any kind is not normal and should be taken very seriously.
In our pursuit of healthy bodies, pain can be an enemy. In some instances, however, it is of biological benefit. Pain that occurs right after an injury or early in an illness may play a protective role, often warning us about the damage we’ve suffered. When we sprain an ankle, for example, the pain warns us that the ligament and soft tissues may be frayed and bruised, and that further activity may cause additional injury.
Pain, such as may occur in our heels as a result of pounding our feet on hard surfaces while playing sports or wearing shoes that irritate sensitive tissues, also alerts us to seek medical attention. This alert is of utmost importance because of the many afflictions that contribute to heel pain, and also the chronic nature of heel pain and its ability to lead to further foot problems.