Heel Fat Pad Syndrome
Your feet take you everywhere you go throughout the day, but you may not pay much attention to them until they hurt. Many times, foot pain is felt in the heel, and that pain is often linked to plantar fasciitis. However, not all heel pain is due to plantar fasciitis — you could be experiencing heel fat pad syndrome, or chronic heel pad inflammation, instead.
Heel fat pad syndrome is caused when the elasticity of the fat pad on the heel is decreased. Excessive heel strikes from poor footwear, a fall on the heel or a number of other factors can contribute to this. Unlike the plantar fascia, which forms the arch of the foot, the fat pad of the heel functions as a shock absorber when your heel strikes the ground (every time you walk).
This guide will help you understand the symptoms, causes and risk factors of heel fat pad syndrome and explain how you can get relief.
Symptoms of Heel Fat Pad Syndrome
Heel pad syndrome is most easily identified when you begin to feel heel pad pain. Every time you walk or perform another physical activity, your feet distribute your weight and absorb the impact. However, due to injury, overuse or simply over time, the fat pad of the heel can become thin and worn. Because of this, you will experience heel pad pain or inflammation — the two major symptoms of fat pad syndrome. Fat pad pain typically feels like a bruise and can be recreated by pressing your finger into the center of the heel pad. It’s most often felt when walking on hard surfaces.
Causes and Risk Factors
Heel pain causes can be abundant, but most heel fat pad syndrome cases are caused by the following factors:
- Inflammation:The heel fat pad can become inflamed after prolonged, repeated and forceful activity.
- Hard surfaces: Walking or running on hard surfaces without proper foot protection can lead to heel fat pad pain.
- Improper gait: People with a foot/feet that lean inward or outward while walking or running may experience a fat pad that breaks down more quickly in certain areas of the heel.
- Plantar fasciitis: The plantar fascia can begin to break down, making it difficult to distribute and absorb impact. This can cause the heel fat pad to become worn or strained more quickly.
Displaced fat pad:
A displaced or thinned fat pad can expose the heel bone and make walking barefoot on hard surfaces painful or difficult.
If left untreated, heel pad syndrome can be extremely painful, making even the most routine daily tasks, such as walking or standing on hard services, much more difficult.
When you experience heel fat pad syndrome, you’ll immediately want to seek treatment. Fortunately, there are a number of affordable and easy ways to treat your heel pain at home. Taping is one way to stabilize the heel and reduce pain, while heel seats can apply acupressure and provide cushioning to offer pain relief. Appropriate footwear combined with heel pads can greatly diminish the heel pain you’re experiencing.
When dealing with acute pain, the Rest Ice Compression Elevation (R.I.C.E.) rule is recommended. The Spara Podiatry Massage Tool is an excellent way to combine cryotherapy (icing) and massage therapy to reduce the inflammation and pain caused by heel fat pad syndrome.
Fat pad syndrome can cause pain ranging from a mild bruised feeling to debilitating heel pain. It’s essential to understand the symptoms and causes so you can seek treatment before heel pad pain becomes extreme. Order your Spara Podiatry Massage Tool today and start feeling relief in as little as two weeks.
Not all heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis, you could be experiencing heel fat pad syndrome. This syndrome is caused when the elasticity of the fat pad on the heel is decreased. Excessive heel strikes from poor footwear, a fall on the heel or a number of other factors can contribute to this. Unlike the plantar fascia, which forms the arch of the foot, the fat pad of the heel functions as a shock absorber when your heel strikes the ground.