Foot pain can be highly disruptive to your daily routine. If you’re experiencing heel pain, one aspect to consider is the condition of your plantar fat pads.
What Are Plantar Fat Pads?
When we think about fat within the body, we’re usually thinking about white adipose tissue (WAT), which makes up the majority of fat adults carry. It’s the storage space for excess calories and it can be a health concern when we have too much. This type of fat is a biologically active storage depot, and good health is linked to less of it.
However, the fat pads in your feet are actually necessary for mobility. They cushion the bones of the feet and provide shock absorption with every step you take. Loss or degeneration of plantar fat pads can be extremely painful. This fat is composed of a connective tissue framework built like a honeycomb. This structure allows for the important function of the heel during stance, walking and running.
Since fat pad atrophy is largely irreversible, it’s important to take care of them.
Plantar Fasciitis Impacts Fat Pad Health
Your plantar fascia is a connective tissue that connects your toes to your heel bone. This thin but strong band of connective tissue is extremely important for energy transfer. It is also integral to the overall shape and biomechanical workings of the foot. When a person suffers from plantar fasciitis, that tissue is degenerated, chronically inflamed, thickened, and often contracted, leading to heel pain.
This can create a painful sensation at the point where the arch and heel meet, creating a lessened ability to evenly distribute weight while walking. Many people walk on the side of the heel to guard against this pain. This can lead to excessive pressure to the fat pad, causing it to wear more quickly.
Fat pad atrophy pain is typically felt at the center of the heel, making it distinguishable from plantar fasciitis pain.
Fat pad atrophy of both the heel and the ball of the foot commonly occurs with advancing age. However, there are ways to protect against this.
Steroid injections meant to treat plantar fasciitis pain can lead to fat pad atrophy, offsetting the value of this short-term treatment option.
If you’re experiencing heel pain, it’s important to discuss the potential side effects of treatment options with your doctor, while looking for more long-term solutions. Steroids are quite cheap and have been approved by the regulatory bodies over healthcare, but they are known to cause ruptures of the plantar fascia, raise blood sugar, depigment the skin and to destroy the fat cells of the heel at times.
Heel-Pain Relief With The Healing Sole
The Healing Sole, designed by Dr. Warner, is a recovery device aimed at reducing symptoms of plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions.
The design of The Healing Sole reduces pressure to the ball and heel of the foot, where fat pad atrophy occurs, allowing for improved mobility.
The rocker bottom sole also provides a gentle stretch to the plantar fascia, relieving tension on the heel.
This shoe was designed in the hopes that it would empower you to allow your body to naturally heal and feel better, hopefully while you avoid injections or surgery.