What is Classified As Heel Pain?
Heel pain is classified as pain in the area underneath the back of your heel. The heel bone is the largest of 26 bones in the foot. The heel bone is also associated with a network of more than 100 ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Heel pain is usually associated with a faulty mechanical movement, which ends up placing too much stress on the soft tissue in the foot and on the heel bone. Pain in this location could be linked to plantar fasciitis. If the pain is located closer to the Achilles tendon, then it could be Achilles tendonitis.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
- Achilles Tendinitis – Overuse of Achilles muscle that attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone
- Stress Fractures – Tiny cracks in the bones in the lower leg and foot
- Plantar Fasciitis – Inflammation in the muscle that connects the heel bone to your toes
- Heel Spur – This is a calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone, that protrudes outwards, sometimes as much as a half inch
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – Inflammation in the joints, resulting in painful immobility in the fingers, wrists, and feet
- Gout – Arthritis and acute pain in smaller bones in the feet due to defective metabolism of uric acid
- Excessive Pronation – Where the arch of the foot flattens excessively
When To See A Doctor For Heel Pain
- Swelling and intense pain in the heel
- Inability to point or flex toes
- Numbness or tingling in the heel
- Heel pain that continues for more than a few weeks
Diagnosing & Treatment
- A podiatrist is the best type of doctor to see
- X-rays can be performed to rule out any issues associated with the bone
- Oral medication and injectable anti-inflammatory medications may be used for less severe foot issues
- Your doctor will probably give you various exercises to do, as well as taping of the heel or orthotic devices to use
Physical Therapy – may be used in conjunction with these treatments too
At Home Self Care For Your Heels
- Foot supports can often be found at drug stores
- Rest and Ice, avoiding physical activities or standing for long periods of time, and ice 20-30 minutes
- New shoes, if you’re an athlete, get new shoes regularly
- Over the counter pain medications, aspirin, and ibuprofen
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