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Painful heel (Plantar Fasciitis)
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and may make walking or running difficult.
You are more likely to develop this if you have flat feet, high arches, suddenly gain weight or are obese, if you run long distances especially downhill or on uneven surfaces, have a tight Achilles tendon or have shoes with poor arch support or soft soles.
This can develop in both men and women but is usually seen in active men between the ages of forty and seventy.
Symptoms include pain and stiffness on the bottom of the heel, this pain may be dull or sharp. The foot may also ache or burn on the bottom. This pain may get worse in the morning when you first begin walking, after you climb the stairs, you sit or stand for a while or after intense exercise.
This painful heel may develop slowly over time, or suddenly after intense activity. If you have these symptoms you should consult a doctor.
The signs include tenderness on the bottom of the foot, flat feet or high arches, stiffness or tightness in the arch of the foot, mild swelling or even redness. Your doctor may recommend pain killers or inflammation reducers, shoes with good support and massage.
Massage can help to relieve the pain and help blood flow to the foot. It will also take you off your feet for an hour which doctors also recommend.
You can help to prevent this pain by making sure you Achilles tendon and calf muscles are flexible and making sure to stretch out before you run and trying to run on a flat surface. Taking care of your body and not pushing it to far is a great way to avoid pain as well.