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Pain in the heel?

Pain in the heel - what helps well and quickly?

by UXGO
03 April 2020, 11:56 am

The alarm clock rings, you flip back the covers, swing your feet out of bed and there they are again - the stabbing, pricking and unbearable pain in your heel. Walking, standing, jumping, jogging and any other exercise on foot hurts and restricts your everyday life, private and professional.

You are not alone with this phenomenon. More people than you think suffer from heel pain. Whether young or old, active in sports or office workers, tall or short, overweight or super slim. The causes are very varied. It is therefore very important to know what exactly preceded the heel pain or where it came from in order to be able to take the right course of treatment, exercises and therapeutic measures.

You already know that your cause is a heel spur?
In our heel spur guide, we show you what you can do yourself to treat your pain.

Heel spur guide

zufriedene und schmerzfreiie Frau

The heel at a glance

 

The heel refers to the protrusion at the back of your feet. It consists of a bone, the calcaneus, and the surrounding fatty tissue. The Achilles tendon attaches to the upper part of the calcaneus, while the plantar fascia attaches to the lower part. A very special point in the heel area is the bursa at the transition between the heel bone and the Achilles tendon. It is at this point and also at the transition to the sole that heel pain most often occurs.

The tendon insertions at the heel bone are the most frequently localised points for pain in the heel.

It is also important to know that the heel, along with the forefoot, plays an indispensable role in walking upright. It is also the heel that is subjected to the load of 70 to 100% of the body weight in a fraction of a second during weight bearing, despite its small surface area. So it is no wonder that pain in the heel can quickly occur.


Bild eines Fußballen mit geringer Hallux valgus Tendenz

Heel pain after standing up

 

Among people who have heel pain, the pain of starting to walk is not unknown. Whether after prolonged periods of stress on the foot or after waking up. Very often, patients suffer from severe pain when they first step on. After a short time, this pain in the heel subsides, but it returns with similar or the same intensity after longer periods of exertion.

Sometimes you may also feel pain in the heel during rest or sleep.

A negative aspect of persistent pain in the heel is a resulting avoidance behaviour. To avoid provoking the pain, you change your gait pattern and foot loading. However, this can affect other areas such as the knees, hips or spine.
So to avoid aggravating your heel pain, shock-absorbing shoes with a soft footbed are the key. A flexible sole that allows the foot to roll easily and supports your movements is also particularly important. For this purpose, we at UXGO have very special models with a lightweight cellular sole that is not only light as a feather, but also cushions every step you take. Especially recommended for heel spurs, but also for all other types of heel pain absolute walking comfort.

Are you looking for suitable shoes to support you with your heel spur?
Then you can start shopping right here!

UXGO models for heel spurs


UXGO sets for heel spur


starke Schmerzen in der Ferse

Heel pain has different causes

 

Pain in the heel does not happen by chance. However, the causes have different origins.

What provides the basis for heel pain? Only with this knowledge we can effectively counteract heel pain.

Overweight: Knowing full well that the feet and especially the heel carry the entire body weight, being overweight is an additional burden.

Foot malpositions: With flat feet or high arches, the plantar fascia and the arch of the foot are overloaded. The resulting incorrect strain on fascia, muscle and tendon can cause pain in the heel.

Weak feet: The muscles, as the active part, are elementary to stabilise your foot under load. If the muscles are weakened, passive structures such as ligaments, bones and joint capsules increasingly take over stabilising functions. This can lead to overuse pain in the foot. To counteract this development, you can strengthen the arch of your foot with specific exercises. In this way, you can reduce existing pain and protect your foot from malpositions and pain in the heel in the long term.

Extreme athletic strain: Get your feet used to the higher strain slowly over several months, because the heel area is particularly vulnerable in people who are active in sports. In addition, make sure you wear the right shoes for your sport and avoid doing sport barefoot.

Age: Of course, the older you get, the more stress your feet have been under over the years. It can happen that pain in the heel occurs as a sign of wear and tear. This is often due to the fact that the fat pad under the heel shrinks. The age group between 40 and 60 is particularly affected.


Arzt vergleicht den Fuß und dessen Röntgenbild, mit Verdacht auf einen Fersensporn.

Heel spur:

 

A heel spur can occur in the course of the previously explained tendonitis (plantar fasciitis) but can also develop independently.

It is important to know that a heel spur can, but does not have to, cause pain in the heel. It is a thorn-like bony growth on the heel bone. It can appear in two different places and cause heel pain.

You are not alone with heel spurs: almost one in 10 women between 40 and 60 suffers from a heel spur.

The plantar heel spur (also called calcific neural spur) forms on the underside of the heel bump, at the base of the plantar fascia. The pain in the heel is expressed by strong pressure, either at the upper end of the heel bone or at the lower part towards the sole of the foot, depending on which heel spur is present.

The dorsal, or upper, heel spur occurs at the base of the Achilles tendon. It is much less common than the plantar heel spur. At this point, patients experience pressing pain in the heel while walking or standing in the shoe.

Are you in need of shoes that are suitable for heel spurs and are still fashionable and trendy?
Find the right heel spur sets here!

Find heel spur sets


S1 syndrome:

 

Sometimes it is a spinal issue due to irritation or compression of a nerve that is behind the heel pain. In the case of S1 syndrome, the symptoms are caused by mechanical irritation or damage to the nerve root between the last lumbar vertebra and the first sacral vertebra. There are several possible causes for this narrowing, such as a herniated disc, degenerative or inflammatory spinal changes.

You can recognise a possible S1 syndrome by the fact that you have pain on one side that extends along your buttocks over the back of the upper and lower leg, the heel and into the toes.

In addition, you may experience sensory disturbances such as tingling or burning in the same areas. In extreme cases, there may also be muscle weakness in the calf, buttock and thigh muscles. The pain is usually accompanied by limited or painful mobility of the lumbar spine. If the symptoms mentioned above apply to your problem, you should see your doctor.

Expert tip: To test the strength of the muscles supplied by the nerve, stand on one leg and hold on with one hand for safety. Now stand on your toes 10 times. Do the test with the pain-free leg as well. If there is a large difference between the sides, there may be weakness in the calf muscles and you should contact your doctor immediately.

Exercise 1: Whole body tension according to Brügger

 

If you do not yet know the cause of your S1 syndrome, stabilising the lumbar spine can help. This protects your spine from overstraining in everyday life and can positively influence the healing process.

For this exercise, lie flat on your back with your legs apart.

Your arms are at your sides, palms facing down. Both feet and hands are bent with toes and fingers pointing upwards. Your head is on the mat and your chin is pointing straight towards your sternum. Now move your pubic bone towards your belly button so that your core muscles become tense. Now begin to press your heels, sacrum, shoulders, arms and head into the mat one after the other. Only press hard enough so that there is no pain. Hold the muscle tension for 10-20 seconds and then slowly release it. Repeat this exercise 10 times with short breaks.

Bursitis:

 As already described, the bursa is located between your heel bone and the base of the Achilles tendon. When inflamed, it is usually accompanied by severe pain in the heel. This inflammation can result from a dorsal heel spur, overuse or, for example, gout.

Another bursa is located between your skin and the Achilles tendon. This can become inflamed if you wear shoes that fit incorrectly, press hard or rub. That's why you should always make sure you have the right size, a well-fitting and high upper and, of course, good quality materials, both on the outside and inside.

Expert tip: Do you have very severe pain that doesn't get better even when you put weight on it? Does your heel also hurt at night? Is the area above the heel warm and swollen? If you can answer yes to all three of these questions, you are still in the acute inflammation phase. In this phase, you should not start training, but should always cool your foot, elevate it and avoid sporting activities.


Ladies' shoes width H - for wider feet

Uxgo Leyla – bequemer Damenschuh in violett Leyla
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Uxgo Olivia – bequemer Damenschuh in olivgrün Olivia
€158.00
Uxgo Yara – bequemer Damenschuh in hellblau Yara
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Uxgo Rose – bequemer Damenschuh in rosa Rose
€158.00
Uxgo Candela – bequemer Damenschuh in rot Candela
€158.00
Uxgo Amber – bequemer Damenschuh in orange Amber
€158.00
Fabia Flex Fabia Flex
€158.00
Lara Lara
€129.00
Fiona Fiona
€129.00
Hallux Schuh - beige Sneaker Leonie Leonie
€158.00
Beatrice Beatrice
€158.00
Alisha Alisha
€158.00
Emilia Emilia
€158.00
Felicia Felicia
€158.00
Elena Elena
€158.00 €99.00
Pia Pia
€158.00
Hallux Schuh Amelie Amelie
€158.00
Valentina Valentina
€158.00
Luna Luna
€158.00 €129.00
Marie Marie
€158.00 €129.00
Greta Greta
€158.00
Sophia Sophia
€158.00
Vanessa Vanessa
€158.00
Tina Tina
€158.00
Hallux Schuh Maike Maike
€129.00 €79.00
Veronika Veronika
€129.00 €79.00
Mia Mia
€129.00 €79.00
Leni Leni
€129.00 €79.00
Romy Romy
€129.00 €79.00

Eine Übung um die Wade zu dehnen.

Exercise 1: Calf Stretch Variation I

With this exercise you stretch your calf and reduce tension.

Do this exercise standing against a wall.

With your healthy leg, lunge forward and rest your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Keep the heel of the affected leg in contact with the floor throughout the exercise. Bend your front knee so that your weight shifts slightly forward towards the wall and you feel a stretch in your calf.
Make sure your foot does not slip and has a strong calf pull when stretched straight through. This stretch should be done without much pain in the heel or foot.
Hold the stretch position for 20 seconds and repeat the exercise 3 times.

Exercise 2: Calf Stretch Variation II

As with the first variation of the calf stretch, stand in front of a wall in a lunge position. Support yourself with your hands against the wall at shoulder height. To stretch the deeper calf muscles, bend your back knee towards the wall without lifting your heel. This stretch should be done without much pain in the heel or foot.
Hold the stretch position for 20 seconds and repeat the exercise 3 times.

Expert tip: Do these stretches every day to achieve an effect.


Bone fracture:

Often not considered, but you can also contract a bone fracture in the heel, for example a calcaneal fracture. Whether it is a fatigue fracture, an accident or a sports injury, this fracture causes severe pain in the heel.
Such fractures are not uncommon in professional sports, especially in running.

Changes in the Achilles tendon:

You can recognise this possible cause by the clear pain in the heel in the upper area, i.e. at the Achilles tendon. Pathological changes can develop here. It should not be underestimated, as it is the strongest tendon in the human body that connects the heel bone and the calf muscle. In the case of calcification at the attachment of the Achilles tendon to the heel bone, pressure pain and local swelling can occur.

Exercise: The calf roller

 

With this exercise you relax your calf and reduce the tension on the Achilles tendon.

This exercise is done in a sitting position. Sit on an exercise mat or on the floor.

Position the fascia roller above the painful Achilles tendon. Support your arms on the floor next to your body and lift your buttocks. Make sure you push your shoulders away from your ears. Now roll at a slow pace over the entire calf towards the back of the knee and back again. Roll back and forth between 3 and 5 times for this exercise.


Bekhterev's disease:

 

This is a rheumatic and inflammatory disease that occurs chronically. It can cause your spine to gradually stiffen (as a result of the inflammation). Sometimes other organs or joints can also be affected.

You do not always have pain in the heel, but it usually starts in the spine.

However, painful changes in the Achilles tendon and thus heel pain often occur at the beginning of the disease. You may have stiff joints in the morning or alternating buttock pain. Last but not least, you should never rule out the possibility of ankylosing spondylitis. Of course, we always advise you to go to the doctor, where X-rays can be taken to find out exactly where the cause lies.


Eine Frau Massiert, streckt und dehnt ihren Fuß, um die Muskeln und Nerven passiv zu mobilisieren

Tarsal tunnel syndrome:

 

Similar to S1 syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome is also caused by a constricted nerve in the heel. In this case, however, it is the tibial nerve in the tarsal canal. At this point, the heel bone, ankle bone and inner ankle and a ligament-like structure form a kind of tunnel. You can recognise this possible cause if, for example, you feel a burning or tingling sensation on the sole of your foot or heel that is intensified by pressure. Likewise, prolonged pressure on the nerve could cause weakness in the small foot muscles and a loss of sensation in the foot. In fact, heel pain can go so far that it radiates into the calf areas.

Start here with the calf stretching exercises Variation I & II, which you will find above under 'Changing the Achilles'.


Exercise: Nerve mobilisation

Nerve mobilisation is a good way to make the nerve at the narrow part of the tarsal tunnel more flexible. This mobilisation improves the mobility of the nerve in its surroundings and speeds up the healing process.

For this exercise you sit on a high chair with a firm stand or on a table.

Interlace your fingers behind your back. Now lower your head towards your chest and bend your whole spine. There should be no pain. Now pull your toes and the back of your foot towards your shin and the outer edge of your foot upwards.
Maintain this position throughout the exercise. Stretch your knee for two seconds and lift the affected leg towards the ceiling. Hold this position for a short time and then lower the leg back towards the floor. Do this exercise 10 times. If you feel pain, burning or sensitivity in the leg in the stretched position, you should take a short break before continuing.


Eine Frau bespricht mit ihrer Ärztin die Ursachen und möglcihen Behandlungen für ihre Fersenschmerzen

Heel pain - when do you need to see a doctor?

 

Actually, with very few exceptions, heel pain can be said to be preceded by a long history of suffering. If we look at the many causes underlying heel pain, the good news is that the process can always be interrupted if there has been a lack of prophylaxis.

A brief overview of the symptoms that can accompany heel pain:

  • Depending on the degree of strain, the pain in the heel varies
  • Initially, the pain appears sporadically and gets worse over time
  • The stabbing heel pain occurs mainly in the morning, but also after periods of rest (morning start-up pain)
  • You notice redness, pressure marks or blisters in the heel area
  • Climbing stairs is particularly annoying Severe pain in the area of the Achilles tendon or the sole of the foot prevents you from rolling your foot properly.
  • You feel thickening at the transition to the Achilles tendon.
  • The pain in the heel restricts your walking and you can no longer run normally.

If you have any of the above symptoms, we recommend that you consult a doctor or orthopaedist. We do not recommend self-diagnosis. However, you don't have to worry at the first little prick. Just pay close attention to your body and feet and observe how a first possible pain in the heel develops or whether it was just a flash in the pan among heel pains.

Do you also have pain in the ball of your foot?
Then you can read our article on pain in the ball of the foot here.

Read more


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Fabia Flex Fabia Flex
€158.00
Lara Lara
€129.00
Sina Sina
€129.00
Hallux Schuh - schwarzer Sneaker Kate Kate
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Emma Emma
€158.00
Hallux Schuh Amelie Amelie
€158.00
Ella Ella
€158.00 €99.00
Tina Tina
€158.00
Mia Mia
€129.00 €79.00
Luisa Luisa
€129.00 €79.00

Eine Tasse mit Mandelmich und einem Teelöffel Kurkuma wirkt antibakteriell und antioxidativ.

What home remedies help with heel pain?

 

The appointment with the doctor is still three days away or you simply want to do something about the slight pain in your heel from the comfort of your own home. There are a few home remedies that can help you relieve the pain.

Foot bath with apple cider vinegar: For heel spurs and other heel pain resulting from inflammation. It has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. Pour half a cup of apple cider vinegar into a small tub and bath the feet in it for about 10 minutes.

Ointments: If you have heel pain, ointments can promote the healing process and provide pain relief. Ask your doctor or a pharmacy for advice.

Turmeric: an all-natural strong painkiller that you can simply drink. It has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Add a spoonful of turmeric to a glass of almond milk and drink a glass every day for at least a month. The great side effect: You are doing your body a lot more good. It supports your digestion, helps with muscle regeneration and protects your respiratory tract.


Ein Bild mit Ausrufezeichen, um auf den Kurzratgeber für Fersenschmerzen aufmerksam zu machen

Brief guide to heel pain

It pinches, it pinches, it burns? Or do you have the feeling that you are walking over broken glass or nails? Heel pain is particularly nasty because it can block you in all aspects of everyday life in an unpleasant way.

In our quick guide on heel pain, we show you how to proceed:

Visit your doctor and take a medical history: After an initial consultation, your doctor will carry out specific examinations based on your description of the heel pain. This can be a normal X-ray to check for bone fractures or an MRI to check for possible pathological changes in your Achilles tendon. If there is a possibility that you have tarsal tunnel syndrome, an electromyography and electroneurography will be done.

Diagnosis & cause: After the examination, you will receive your diagnosis and thus the cause of your heel problem. Based on this, your course of treatment will be determined. We have explained and described the possible causes in the text above.

If there is no underlying disease, you can achieve a lot with specific exercises and the right shoes. If you have a heel spur, you will certainly need a heel spur insole. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary, but that is the exception. Most of the time, therapeutic measures can be very effective for your heel pain.
Get good and detailed advice from your doctor on what is best for you given your diagnosis.


How can you avoid heel pain?

Basically, a conscious and healthy lifestyle is always a good starting point. Of course, you can't avoid hereditary diseases this way, but you lay a great foundation for a carefree and pain-free life.

This means: make sure you get enough exercise, wear the right shoes (no shoes that are too tight or too small), exercise in moderation, stretch and warm up, avoid being overweight and have your foot deformities corrected as soon as possible so that they don't get out of hand.


When is an operation necessary?

 

Don't worry, it is extremely rare that you actually have to have an operation for heel pain. In principle, such an operation would be a quick remedy, but how long would this relief actually last? You can't lose a lot of weight in a very short time, nor can you turn your daily routine upside down so that you hardly ever have to walk or stand. This means that your heel pain would return sooner or later.

Even if painkillers do not solve the problem in the long run, they are helpful in the treatment process. A particularly popular treatment for a heel spur, for example, is cortisone, which is the body's own stress hormone. Alternatively, cortisone is often replaced by shock wave therapy, which has a more lasting effect in the long term. Consult your doctor to find out which treatment will relieve your heel pain.


Glücklcihe Frau fährt mit den UXGO Schuhen Sophia Rad

 

We don't want to claim that we can make your heel pain go away, but UXGO shoes are exactly what your heel needs.

For heel pain, the models with the feather-light light cell sole are particularly suitable. Here, the natural rolling movement of the foot is supported. At the same time, the foot remains flexible, for a walking feeling like walking on clouds. The well-padded heel area cushions your movements while walking and has a shock-absorbing effect, so that your foot experiences special relief and does not aggravate your pain.

Stay away from shoes with stiff and thin soles.

Top-class comfort for your feet despite heel pain.

Our heel spur set, consisting of our UXGO comfort shoes and a matching, innovative heel spur insole.

Heel spur sets

Conclusion

 

Just because your heel hurts doesn't necessarily mean something bad is going on. Be careful with your feet and your body and watch out for the first signals. React quickly and always get a doctor's opinion first. Wear good shoes and keep moving, then nothing can really happen to your feet.

Important notice:

This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor. If you have pain from a flat foot, make an appointment with an orthopaedist, preferably a foot specialist, and discuss in person which flat foot exercises are best suited to your foot deformity and can help.

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