How COVID-19 changed my patient exam for heel pain
Heel pain is one of the most common complaints in a podiatrist’s office. What causes heel pain? There are a number of common conditions that cause heel pain including:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spurs
- Calcaneal stress fracture
- Insertional Achilles tendinitis
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Fat pad atrophy of the heel
By far, the most common heel pain condition that we treat in podiatry is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis presents with classic symptoms including sharp, tearing pain at the onset of weight bearing and increasing pain over the course of the day that is directly proportional to the duration of time spent on your feet.
How does COVID-19 contribute to plantar fasciitis?
COVID-19 contributes to the onset of plantar fasciitis in an indirect and subtle way – simply by staying at home. Most of us are accustom to a normal work rhythm that includes wearing shoes. But when our activity level changes and we spend more time at home in our stocking feet, we become more prone to plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis as an overuse syndrome common to both men and women in the age group from 30 to 50 years of age. As a member of this age group, I can attest that maybe we’re not in the best of shape, we’ve put on a few extra pounds, we’re not as active as we once were. As a result, we become more susceptible to subtle changes in our lives like transitioning from a work life to a stay at home life. At the heart of these changes is simply spending more time without shoes.
In my podiatry practice I’ve seen a significant uptick in the number of cases of plantar fasciitis that I believe I can directly attribute to COVID-19. COVID-19 does not have a direct, physiological effect on the onset of heel pain. The cause of COVID-19 heel pain has everything to do with a stay-at-home lifestyle.
Home care for plantar fasciitis -
Before you call you podiatrist for treatment of heel pain symptoms, here are some resources that you can use to treat COVID-19 plantar fasciitis: