3 Common Causes Of Heel Pain

Posted on: 15 July 2022


Heel pain is a common complaint for many adults. However, there are many causes of heel pain, so finding the source of your discomfort can seem difficult. If you would like to know more about heel pain, check out these three common causes of heel pain and what you can do to relieve pain.

1. Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon runs along the back of the lower leg. It connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. It gives you the ability to flex your foot. Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of this tendon, and it causes pain, swelling, and a limited range of motion. If you have Achilles tendonitis, you may struggle to flex your foot and stand on your toes. It is often caused by repetitive stress on the tendon.

Treatment usually involves RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation, which can be done at home. Over time, the tendon heals, but you may still have a limited range of motion. Physical therapy exercises can help. If the tendon tore, you may need surgery to repair it, which takes longer to heal.

2. Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a band of fascia tissue along the bottom of the foot. Improper walking, abnormal foot structure, and improper shoes can cause inflammation of the plantar fascia, causing plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis usually makes it hard to walk, and when you do walk, you may have a sharp pain on the bottom of your foot near the heel.

Treatment is similar to treatment for Achilles tendonitis: RICE, but surgery may be needed in extreme cases. In most cases, RICE and physical therapy are enough, but some patients need night splints or walking devices to use while the foot heals.

3. Heel Spur

A heel spur is a collection of calcium deposits that protrude from the bone. Some people with heel spurs experience severe pain, but others may present with no symptoms. Abnormal gait, excess weight, and poorly-fitted shoes can all increase the risk of heel spurs. Heel spurs often trigger soft tissue injuries like plantar fasciitis.

To remove the heel spur, you will need surgery, and if the heel spur catches the plantar fascia, surgery can be used to release it. However, most patients respond well to physical therapy, shoe inserts, and night splints.

Heel pain may be common, but that doesn't mean you have to live with it. In many cases, rest and physical therapy help heal many types of heel pain, but some patients need or want surgery. If you would like to know more, contact an orthopedist in your area today. For more information, contact a heel pain doctor near you.