As the foundation of the body, the foot and ankle are complex, amazing structures made up of many ligaments, nerves, tendons, joints, and bones—including the largest bone in the foot, the heel. The heel helps form the arch and manages stress during walking and running. All of this use and stress can lead to painful conditions of the heel and its surrounding tendons and ligaments. Plantar fasciitis, the most common form of heel pain, is an inflammation of the connective tissue that spans the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia). Another common form of heel pain occurs with Achilles tendonitis, which causes inflammation and pain in the (Achilles) tendon that attaches the heel with the calf muscles. A loss of cushioning in the plantar fat pad can cause the heel to become bruised, and the heel bone can also fracture, causing intense pain. Retrocalcaneal Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid-filled bursa sac that cushions the back of the heel bone. Any type of heel pain should be diagnosed by a podiatrist. who can assess the situation and create an appropriate treatment plan based on their findings.
Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Fox Valley Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.
Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.
Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.
Why Might Heel Pain Occur?
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes
- Wearing non-supportive shoes
- Weight change
- Excessive running
Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.
If you have any questions please contact our office located in Naperville, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.