6 Causes of Heel Pain & How to Deal with Getting It Treated by a Podiatrist

July 11, 2017

The heel is your foot’s largest bone, and it’s easy to accidentally overuse or injure it. Depending on the cause, heel pain may range from mild to immobilizing. If you’re experiencing severe heel pain, you should visit your local foot doctor as soon as possible for treatment.

Here are six common causes of heel pain:

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation or damage to  the dense band of connective tissue that connects the heel to the ball of the foot. It is frequently caused byover use, improper training, wearing poorly-fitting or unstructured shoes, and wearing flip flops or walking barefoot too often. This is a common issue with runners, joggers, cross fitters, and workers who stand on there feet for long periods of time.

Plantar Fasciitis is the mos common cause of heel pain and the most common musculo-skeletal injury we see in our offices.

2. Bursitis

Bursitis is characterized by pain, swelling, and tenderness in the joints. It occurs when the bursae, or fluid-filled sacs near your joints, become swollen or irritated. The bursae cushion your bones and tendons, and they keep your joints moving smoothly. When you overuse a joint, it could cause the bursae to swell.

3. Heel Spurs

Heel spurs form when the heel’s lining is stretched for long periods of time. In some cases, pieces of the lining break off. The spurs themselves rarely cause pain but are frequently seen in patients who have plantar fasciitis.

4. Fracture

A stress fracture of the heel bone or a fractured heel spur are less common causes of heel pain but needs to be identified quickly and typically requires medical attention right away. Common symptoms of a fracture include:

  • Redness, swelling, and bruising
  • Difficulty supporting weight
  • A snapping sound when the injury occurs

5. Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel. This often affects dancers, professional athletes, runners, and others with active lifestyles who may overuse the Achilles tendon.

6. Excessive Pronation

Excessive pronation happens when the foot rolls inward, stretching the tendons and ligaments in the back of the heel. You may experience excessive pronation after a hip, back, or knee injury that affects how you walk.

There are several at-home heal pain treatment methods you can try to ease the discomfort, including:

  • Resting and staying off your feet
  • Applying ice for 15 minutes twice a day
  • Using over-the-counter painkillers
  • Wearing properly-fitting shoes.
  • Structured running shoes with a blend of support and cushioning are usually your best bet.

If you need heal pain treatment, our Ballantyne podiatrist can help you. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with a local foot doctor who cares about your recovery and receive the best treatment you can get in the Blakeney/South Charlotte area.

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