Common Causes of Heel Pain & Treatment for Them

Great Foot Health Begins Here
search 0



Common Causes of Heel Pain & How to Treat Them

Are you currently experiencing some form of heel pain?

You're probably worried, but before you jump to the worst conclusion, heel pain is a very common issue.

We use our feet every day for all sorts of activities, so it's natural that you might feel develop heel pain from overuse.

Sometimes though, heel pain could be caused by other factors that can cause serious complications if left untreated.

Keep reading to find out more about the common causes and treatments available for your heel pain!

What are the Common Causes of Heel Pain?

heel pain risk factors

Heel pain is a symptom, not a condition in of itself. There are various causes of heel pain.

More importantly, this article is not a diagnosis - you should see a medical professional, such as a podiatrist, in order to find out what is causing your heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis refers to a common condition involving an inflamed thick band of connective tissue across the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia).

You will commonly experience a stabbing pain, particularly in the morning after waking up. However, the severe pain will gradually decrease the more you walk or stand.

It usually occurs in those who have

Untreated plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic heel pain, which may make it harder to perform your daily activities. This might make you alter your gait in an attempt to reduce pain, but this can cause complications with your feet, knees, hips and spine.

Achilles tendinopathy

developing plantar fasciitis

When you overuse your Achilles tendon, the tissue connecting your calf muscle to your heel bone, you may develop Achilles tendinitis or Achilles tendonitis.

It is most frequent in runners that abruptly change the intensity or duration of their runs. Middle-aged people who play sports can also experience Achilles tendinitis.

Heels spur/Bone spur

Bone spurs are bony growth located at the bottom of the heel bone. It is often painless but can cause heel pain.

A heel spur is frequently caused by

  • recurrent damage to the membrane that covers the heel bone

  • repetitive stress on the foot's muscles and ligaments

  • straining of the plantar fascia, which can also lead to plantar fasciitis

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

heel pain chronic inflammation

Another overuse injury, tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when you've damaged your tibial nerve. The tibial nerve stretches through your tarsal tunnel, hence the name.

It usually occurs when there is constant pressure on the nerve, causing pain, tingling or burning sensations at the bottom of your feet. Actively moving the body can often make the heel pain and other symptoms worse.

Some people suffer symptoms that worsen over time, while others have symptoms that start quite quickly.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause irreparable, permanent nerve damage if it is not treated.

How Can I Treat Heel Pain at Home?

heel pain

If you experience heel pain, there are plenty of ways to address the issue. You can try the following methods to try and relieve your pain:

  • apply ice to your heel for 10-15 minutes daily

  • wear properly fitted shoes

  • use shoe inserts or heel lifts

  • take over-the-counter (OTC) medicine

  • rest as much as you can

If the above methods don't work, visit a medical professional, such as a podiatrist, for a physical exam of your feet to determine the exact cause of your pain.

Upon your check-up, the doctor will then recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your condition.

When Should I Visit a Podiatrist?

heel pain accurate diagnosis

Heel pain is common, so it's best to try some home remedies, as mentioned previously, before rushing to the ER.

However, if the issue persists for more than 2-3 weeks, it is advisable for you to make an appointment with a doctor to rule out more severe causes like a stress fracture.

Doctors often will prescribe patients with physical therapy as it

  • provides pain relief

  • improves overall mobility of the ankle joint

  • improves strength and functioning of your feet

Other times, doctors will prescribe you anti-inflammatory medication or custom orthotics.

In rare cases, surgery is an option to treat your heel pain. However, this is considered as a last resort and does not guarantee that your pain will subside significantly.

*If you experience the following, you should seek a doctor immediately:

  • extreme and sudden pain

  • swelling or redness around the heel

  • abnormal walking style

  • inability to walk due to the pain

How Do I Prevent Heel Pain?

plantar fasciitis heel pain

First, you should know that not all heel pain is entirely preventable.

That being said, there are a few things you can practice in your daily life to avoid major injuries and pain in the heel:

  • wear shoes that fit and support your feet well

  • maintain a healthy diet and weight

  • do proper stretching exercises before physical activity

  • don't overwork yourself with strenuous activities

Manage Your Heel Pain and Other Foot Problems with Dr Foot

Heel Pain and Other Foot Problems

Remember, early treatment and prevention are better than waiting it out until it gets worse.

If you're experiencing heel pain or any type of foot issues, contact us to learn how you can manage your feet-related problems today!

We are able to diagnose your medical condition and curate a personalized treatment plan just for your needs.

Enquire with us now