Heel pain is not a normal part of life! Too many people are quick to dismiss foot issues like this as being “not a big deal,” but this is not the case. When any part of the body is hurting, it is a sign there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Heel pain might not be normal, but, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s uncommon. We treat many patients here at the office Wilks Advanced Foot Care for pain in the hindfoot area, especially the heel. Being able to understand the conditions responsible for causing pain will allow you to know when to contact us for treating your heel pain and, even better, how to prevent the issues from developing in the first place.
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition—it’s actually the leading cause of heel pain for adults—that is easily identified by the sharp, intense pain that accompanies the first steps following an extended period of rest. This is caused by an inflamed band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and helps support the foot arch. When the plantar fascia is subjected to overuse and/or excessive force, it sustains tiny tears from the stress. The body starts mending the tissue during periods of rest (especially during a night’s sleep), but the next steps can re-tear the fascia, which causes the sharp pain that signifies the condition.
Heel spurs also develop sometimes in connection with plantar fasciitis and further exacerbate the problem. With a bone spur, the body makes calcium deposits that build up over time. When this process happens on the underside of a heel, it can result in pain in the surrounding soft tissues.
If the pain you are experiencing is located behind the ankle and just above your heel, an Achilles tendon injury could be at fault. This strong tissue band connects the calcaneus (heel bone) to the calf muscles and controls up and down movement in the foot, which means it can be damaged from overuse. The pain is typically worse immediately following activity, and then it disappears after a period of rest. In cases where the tendon is completely torn from an injury, it may require a surgical procedure to heal completely.
This condition tends to be rather common for men and women who don’t perform much physical activity during the week, but then engage in intense, high-impact sports on the weekends. These “weekend warriors” can benefit from using stretching exercises to help keep the tendon and calf muscle limber, which reduces the risk of injury.
Bursae are fluid-filled, jelly-like sacs that are strategically positioned around various joints to provide cushioning and keep friction at a minimum. Like any other tissue, though, they can become swollen, inflamed, and damaged in a painful condition known as bursitis. This is a common cause of heel pain, particularly in older adults. Symptoms typically include pain, swelling, redness, and sometimes even warmth in the affected area.
Other Causes Heel Pain
Your pain and discomfort could also be from a couple of other problems, including:
- Heel bone fracture
- Bruise or contusion (usually after landing on a hard surface)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Haglund’s deformity (“pump bump”)
- Sever’s disease (a growth plate issue causing pain in pre-teen and teen years)
Professional Heel Pain Treatment in Roseburg, OR
When you experience heel pain, your body needs help. We provide exceptional foot care services for every patient who comes to see us, so contact our Roseburg, OR office and ask about the services we offer that can alleviate painful symptoms and address existing problems. You can give us a call at (541) 673-0742 or simply request your appointment with G. Jason Wilks, DPM online today.