Heel pain can be caused by a variety of conditions including: bursitis, stress fractures, tendonitis or arthritis. However plantar fasciitis is a common cause for heel spasm pain.
Plantar fasciitis is when the fascia (sheath of connective tissue) that runs along the sole of your foot, becomes inflamed and spasmed. It often presents with pain underneath the heel and along the sole of the foot. This pain may increase after exercise, during prolonged standing, or upon waking.
- Repetitive strain injuries to the foot tendons
- Trauma to the sole of the foot
- Over stretching of the tendons in the foot
Risk Factors: You may be a risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you are:
- Active: sports that put excessive stress on your heel, or if you have tight calf muscles
- Overweight: increased load on your feet places additional stress on the feet
- Pregnant: due to hormonal changes, the joints in the body become more relaxed and can cause changes in the feet
- Have weak foot muscles: may cause the plantar fascia to fatigue as a result of over use
- Flat feet or high arches: changes the foots ability to absorb shock and places additional strain on the plantar ligaments
With early detection and intervention, relief from heel spasm pain associated with plantar fasciitis can be achieved with conservative methods.
- Soft Tissue Occupational Therapy Treatment
If you are experiencing mild, moderate or severe heel spasm pain from plantar fasciitis, appointing with a soft tissue occupational therapist will assist with treating pain and tightness in your foot and surround structures. Soft tissue occupational therapists use hands on therapy to release muscle tension, promote healing, and increase strength a flexibility of muscles and joints. They work deep into the muscle tissue to allow better movement in your foot and ankle. A soft tissue occupational therapist will also provide and guidance in relation to how to manage your heel spasm pain at home and prevent further injury.
Applying a heat pack to the sole of your foot can help to ease pain in the heel. Heat allows the soft tissue structures in your foot to relax, reducing tension and increasing blood flow. Increasing blood flow also brings oxygen and nutrients to the damaged plantar fascia, promoting healing and recovery.
Using a small foam roller, metal drink bottle or any hard cylinder shaped object to roll over the sole of your foot can also assist with reducing heel spasms pain. The action of rolling will help to break down the fascia and help it to release, reducing pain. This is also a good option to follow after soft tissue occupational therapy and heat treatment.
- Natural Anti Inflammatories
To assist with controlling inflammation associated with heel spasm pain and plantar fasciitis, taking natural anti-inflammatories may assist with reducing heel spasm pain. Turmeric has good evidence to suggest it may be useful in controlling the amount of inflammation produced by the body. Although inflammation is a useful and important part of bodily functioning and healing, natural anti inflammatories can assist with keeping the inflammation in check and preventing excess production.