We depend on our feet and ankles to take us wherever we go. However, there are many people with painful foot problems that can mar their activities or slow them down. The following are some of the problems of the heel and ankle that are commonly faced.
Sharp pain and stiffness on the bottom of the heels is common. The pain is at its worst after a period of rest -- generally it occurs when one gets up after a night’s sleep or after sitting down for an extended period. The first few steps are painful and it makes one hobble or limp around before a comfortable stride is taken.
Generally adults are affected, although children can be affected as well. Heel pain is also called plantar fasciitis .It occurs after a period of rest because foot and heel tissue contracts while at rest. When the contraction is stretched, you have pain. It is lessened after the tissue is fully stretched. Most cases of heel pain have inflammation. After the fascia begins to pull on the bone, the tissues get irritated and inflamed. Inflammation of the fascia is called fasciitis.
A projection or growth of the bone is called a spur. It occurs where the muscles of the foot fuse with the bone. It could be chronic as well, requiring surgery.
The ankle can be sprained. Ankle sprain pain is sharp and associated with swelling and bruising. It is usually on the outside of the ankle and decreases after some time with rest, elevation and compression.
Stiffness can occur with an ankle sprain, heel pain or arthritis. This generally takes place after a period of rest.
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