As is the case in many things, taking preventative steps is the key to living a pain free life. When it comes to heel pain, many people don't realize what they can do to keep it from ever happening in the first place. Simple things, such as wearing properly fitting shoes, maintaining a healthy weight and not "over doing it" will go a very far way to keeping you pain free.
Other factors can sneak up on you, like your natural walking style and gate. The human body is a machine and any slight deviations in the proper way to walk can have lasting, negative effects. If you're concerned that you may be at risk for heel pain or a condition like plantar fasciitis, consult your orthopedist before the pain. Having your gate analyzed by a medical professional is a small step that could save you tremendous pain and thousands of dollars down the line.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common form of heel pain. It occurs when small tears and inflammation develop in the plantar fascia (a band along the bottom of the foot that connects the heel and toes). Treatment for this condition can range from MRIs and x-rays, to costly physical therapy, painful injections and even surgery.
Don't wait until the pain is out of control. Prevent pain by wearing the proper shoes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and having regular visits with your physician.
Here's a quick reference guide to heel pain to help you determine your next steps.