Let us talk about heel pain!
Foot health is an important topic, because our feet carry us every day throughout our lives. That's why we must also take care of their health, especially the heels, a part that is too often neglected. Disorders and pains are often ignored, because we think that everything will certainly get better on its own. In this blog post, we will clarify the most common heel problems, look at one in particular and give tips on how to prevent it.
The heel - from a technical perspective:
The heel is the curved part of the back of the foot. Its outline is formed by the calcaneus, the fatty tissue and the skin that covers it. The heel is also the attachment point of the Achilles tendon. In humans, compared to other mammals, the heel has a particular orientation due to the upright gait.
Does your heel hurt? Possible causes can be as follows:
The causes of heel pain can be very diverse. If the heels are heavily used, e.g. by frequent sports activities, it can in many cases be due to overload. Overuse can occur not only in sports, but also in professional life. This is often the case in jobs where you are constantly on your feet, such as in the catering industry, the care sector and many others.
Other possible causes of painful heels are bone growths (heel spurs), rheumatic diseases, circulatory disorders or even inflammation of the tendon plate on the underside of the foot and the surrounding tissue (= plantar fasciitis). In this article we will take a closer look at the heel spur.
What is a heel spur?
A heel spur is a small, thorn-like ossification in the heel. In most cases, it is caused by irritation of the bone due to traction or pressure. Often, the pain of a heel spur is due to inflammation of the arch of the foot - as many people do not experience pain with these ossified growths.
What causes heel spurs?
Overloading or constant misuse of the heel
Incorrect foot position
The lower (plantar) heel spur forms on the lower edge of the calcaneus and is usually the result of prolonged overloading of the arch of the foot.
The upper calcaneal spur forms on the outer part of the calcaneus at the base of the Achilles tendon. This type can certainly also be caused by overload. However, it occurs at the insertion of the tendon and through pressure points.
What are the symptoms of heel spur?
In the case of inferior calcaneal spur:
Pain on pressure at the calcaneus - usually occurring with first steps in the morning
Acute pain in the sole of the foot when walking or standing
In the case of the superior calcaneal spur:
Pressure pain or stabbing pain in the upper heel
Pain triggered by pulling on the Achilles tendon
May be associated with tendon irritation and chronic inflammation/swelling
How to prevent heel spurs?
1. Wear comfortable shoes with a supportive insole
Our Merino Runners have a pleasantly cushioned, interchangeable insole (it can be replaced with an orthopedic insole, for example). The heels are thus protected and sufficiently cushioned. The Merino Runners can therefore both combat heel spurs and relieve the symptoms if you are already suffering from the consequences of heel spurs.
2. Do not wear narrow shoes
Narrow shoes can cause pressure points in the heel. Our Wood Sneaker have a padded anti-blister heel, which not only prevents blisters from forming, but also prevents the formation of an upper heel spur. In addition, the shoe has a casual look that works with almost any summer outfit. If you prefer to opt for warmer sneakers, which can also be worn in autumn and winter, let yourself be tempted by the Cashmere Sneaker. These not only impress with their luxurious cashmere comfort, but also with their pleasant anti-blister insert that reduces pressure on the heel.
3. Wear low-heeled shoes
High heels are very restrictive, both for the heel and for the soles of the feet and toes. So if you wear high heels, be careful not to keep them on too long. For fashionable women who don't like to leave their high shoes, flat but stylish Eco Ballerines (round toe or pointed) could be an equivalent alternative. They can at least serve as a spare pair if the pain becomes too unpleasant after wearing high heels for too long.
4. Avoid overloading due to excessive sports or other activities
You should always give your feet a break, especially when you feel pain. If you still do a lot of sports, make sure your shoes have enough cushioning. If you're looking for cushioning shoes for sports, check out our Wool Peak running shoes - they cushion every step nicely, no matter what the terrain. From flashy pink to classic black, there's something for every running enthusiast. Even if you're not really an athlete, these running shoes can convince you to use them everyday thanks to their extremely comfortable cushioning.
5. Have any foot deformities examined and treated
If you feel that your feet are oddly shaped or if you notice any deformity, it is best to have your feet examined by a specialist. You can discuss what to do about it. If you have chronic or recurring pain, you should also see a doctor.
Treatment of heel spurs:
Take it easy
Take analgesic/anti-inflammatory medication if necessary
Wear comfortable shoes
Exercise your feet
If pain persists for more than 2 weeks, you should consult your doctor to determine what measures to take
This advice is also relevant for many other foot problems.
Do you have heel spurs or tend to suffer from heel pain?
If you're looking for shoes to prevent heel spurs or to relieve heel pain, browse our store. From the comfortable, practically all-purpose Merino Runners, to the comfortable, cushioning Wool Peak running shoes, the flat alternative to high heels the Eco Ballerinas or the Wood Sneakers or Cashmere Sneakers with extra heel padding, there's everything your feet could want.
Foot health is an important topic for us and that's why we want to raise awareness about it.