Your heels really take a serious beating on a daily basis. Whenever you walk, exercise, or merely stand up, your heels are there to help absorb your weight. So it’s no surprise that they can become sore from all this abuse. The location of the pain in the heel is a very often an excellent indication of what may be causing it.
Causes of pain in the heel
Heel pain can occur in the back or bottom of the heel. Some of the common causes of heel pain include:
- Bursitis—The fluid filled sacs where the Achilles tendon joins the calf muscle at the back of the heel can become irritated and inflamed. Bursitis is often triggered by excessive exercise, and the symptoms are typically worse while you are exercising.
- Achilles tendonitis—Occurs at the back of the heel when the Achilles tendon is overstressed by too much exercise combined with tight calf muscles. The pain and discomfort is more severe during activity and noticeable swelling of the heel may also occur.
- “Stone bruise”—This is a bottom of the heel injury that is often caused by stepping on something hard, like a rock or pebble. When the thick pad of tissue on the bottom of the heel is ruptured, considerable pain and discomfort is the result. This injury will often improve in a week or two with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication.
- Plantar fasciitis—This inflammation of the band of tissue that extends along the bottom of the foot causes radiating pain that is also felt in the back of the heel. The symptoms are usually worse in the morning and dissipate with activity. Excessive stress from exercise and wearing shoes without the proper arch support are often the cause. This condition often gets better with home treatments, but if the pain doesn’t improve after a week or two, you should see a foot care professional for an evaluation and recommendations for treatment.
If you are experiencing pain in your heel, see your podiatrist for the correct diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions, to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.