Overuse can cause injury to the heel, which is the largest bone of the foot. Depending on the severity, heel pain can range from mild to severe. It could be due to inflammation, trauma, or a more severe condition like rheumatoid.
We will discuss two common conditions that can cause heel pain: Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.
1. Plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar facia. This fibrous band connects your heel and front of your feet. Sharp pain can result from pressure being applied to the plantar fascia. It supports the arch of your foot and absorbs pressure. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including inappropriate footwear, excessive work, obesity, running and abnormal foot mechanics.
- Plantar fasciitis symptoms
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain at the bottom of your heel. This pain extends to the arch of your foot. There are many ways to feel the pain. It can be either sharp or a generalized soreness around the arch and heel. Plantar fasciitis can be characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain when you first take your first steps. It usually subsides with increased foot use, but can return after prolonged standing or when you get up from a seated position.
- Who is at greatest risk for plantar fasciitis
Although the exact cause is unknown, there are some factors that could increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis.
- Age The condition is more common in those between 40 and 60
- Flat feet, tight calf muscles, and high arches
- Obesity Extra pressure on your feet because of significant body weight
- Arthritis and other medical conditions are some examples.
- Running, for example, is a repetitive exercise that impacts the plantar fascia.
- Standing for prolonged periods
- High-heeled shoes
2. Achilles Tendonitis
The Achilles tendon, which connects a muscle and a bone in the body, is the strongest and largest tendon. It connects the calf muscles to your heel bone. The Achilles tendon aids in running, jumping and walking.
Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This can be caused by repetitive stress to the tendon such as running or playing basketball. Achilles tendonitis can also be caused by a sudden increase in intensity or frequency of exercise. A bone spur is another condition that can cause Achilles tendonitis. These are bone projections due to conditions like inflammation or degeneration.
- Achilles tendonitis symptoms
Achilles tendonitis is characterized by pain at the heel and swelling that gets worse with activity. After exercising, you may experience severe pain. You may also experience tenderness or stiffness along with swelling of the tendon. These symptoms can improve with moderate activity. It is possible to not show any symptoms.
- Who is at greatest risk for Achilles tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis occurs more frequently in men than it is in women. Achilles tendonitis can also be caused by obesity, diabetes, old age, flat feet, tight calf muscles, and other risk factors such as obesity. Your risk of Achilles tendonitis may be increased by medical conditions like high blood pressure, psoriasis, and certain medications like antibiotics.
- What are the treatment options for heel pain?
Rest, icing and stretching are all good options. Physical therapy may be an option to help you learn the correct exercises to stretch the affected area and build up your supporting muscles. To aid in recovery, a night splint and arch support might be recommended.
Your doctor may recommend shockwave therapy or steroid injections if these methods fail to work. Shockwave therapy uses high-energy sound waves and mechanical shockwaves to stimulate healing. After treatment, patients can expect to feel less pain and a better function.
Surgery may be necessary if the pain is severe enough that both non-invasive and conservative treatments fail to alleviate it.
- What is the best time to see a doctor about your heel pain?
It may be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of heel pain as different conditions can have similar or overlapping symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a doctor.
- Walking is difficult
- Pain in the heel that occurs while you are asleep or at night
- Persistent heel pain
- Foot swelling or discoloration
- An infection is a sign of trouble
- You can resume your normal activities by receiving prompt treatment.