Beneath the plantar surface of the rearfoot is a fat pad that naturally cushions us and protects the heel as we walk. When walking, you will find a force comparable to approximatly 2.5 times body weight on the heel during heel strike, so it must be obvious why we require that fat pad. Without that fat pad there would most likely be very poor shock absorpting and this may bring about several disorders due to that poor cushioning. The commonest is just soreness below the heel bone. The discomfort will largely be present on standing instead of as much on touching it. This may not be a common source of heel pain, however it is a vital one as it can regularly be mistaken for heel spurs and other causes. Commonly it is straightforward to diagnose as there is just zero cushioning below the rearfoot and you can easily feel the bone.
Reasons for fat pad atrophy aren't completely clear. The fat pad does atrophy as we grow older naturally and in some it simply atrophies more at a faster rate. Some individuals simply appear to develop this while others do not. It's not necessarily associated with bodyweight issues. It can occur in some rheumatological problems and athletes because of the many years of hitting on the rearfoot could be at a higher risk this condition. Those with a higher arched foot (pes cavus) also get a displacement of the fat pad which will make a comparable issue to the atrophy.
The only method to treat fat pad atrophy will be to replace the fat or substitute for the fat. This can be inserted in operatively or a cushioning heel pad in the shoes used which has a similar uniformity to the atrophied fat pad. Padded shoes can also be used without or with extra cushioning. Operatively this can be an injectable fillers or an autograft making use of your own fat cells.