What Is Heel Pain?

Heel pain and back of heel pain can interfere with exercise and normal everyday activities. The two areas heel pain occurs are the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attached to the bone and under the heel (see Plantar Fasciitis). The intensity of pain can vary from mild, nagging pain to chronic, disabling pain.

Your heel (calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot and provides a rigid support for your body weight. Your heel absorbs impact while walking or running and propels you forward into your next step. This impact while walking can place stress on the foot at 125% of your body weight. This percentage more than doubles when you run. Repetitive stress makes your heels vulnerable to damage and inflammation, and causes heel pain.

Common cause of heel pain include:

» Achilles Tendinitis
» Achilles Tendon Rupture
» Arthritis
» Bone Tumor
» Bursitis
» Diabetes
» Haglund’s Deformity
» Heel Spurs
» Infections
» Osteomyelitis
» Peripheral Neuropathy
» Plantar Fascitis
» Rheumatoid Arthritis
» Sarcoidosis
» Stress Fractures
» Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
» Trauma

Seek immediate medical attention if you have severe heel pain with swelling, numbness or tingling in your heel accompanied by pain and fever, or difficulty walking. You should see your podiatrist if you have heel pain that persists after you have tried icing and rest.

How Is Heel Pain Treated?

Your Ryan Foot and Ankle Clinic podiatrist will examine your feet and discuss your medical history. They may order blood tests and imaging scans to make a diagnosis the cause of your heel pain. Sometimes further diagnostic tests are needed, such as blood tests and imaging scans.

Many patients respond to conservative heel pain treatments such as rest, icing, stretching, and supportive shoes to relieve their heel pain. In advanced cases, additional treatments may be implemented, including anti-inflammatory drugs, custom orthotics, corticosteroids injections, physical therapy, night splints, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) or surgery.

If you suffer from heel pain, give us a call at one of our 5 local podiatry offices in Charlotte, Concord and Harrisburg today for more information or to schedule an appointment.