I recently had a new patient come in who had been struggling with heel pain for a few months. She thought it was very strange that her feet felt better recently when she wore a 1 inch heeled pump. I explained to her that it is NOT at all strange to have that feeling when dealing with plantar fasciitis.
The mechanism of heel pain comes from the fact that in most of us our Achilles Tendon is very tight. The Achilles Tendon attaches to the back of our heel bone (calcaneus) and the plantar fascia attaches to the bottom of the same bone. They are in direct competition with one another! If the Achilles is tight, the area of least resistance is the attachment of the plantar fascia!
When the fascia is torn, it pulls away from the bone and causes pain. Our bodies are amazing however and we can easily repair this damaged ligament. The problem comes in when our bodies are healing during rest – our feet are in the plantarflexed position and are tightening the ligament and tendon while they heal them. Think of a very tight rubberband that stretches and bounces back – eventually it will break!
So how do wearing heels help her pain? They give the Achilles tendon the advantage – less pressure to stretch which in turn creates less pressure on the plantar fascia. But it’s a dangerous gamble – those feet will feel extra sore once the high heeled shoes are off if you don’t stretch properly before walking barefoot!
If you are having heel pain and can’t enjoy this great spring weather, call our office immediately! We are the heel pain experts!