Heel Pain / Plantar Fasciitis
Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Heel Pain
Heel problems are common and can be painful. Often, they result from too much stress on your heel bone and the tissues that surround it. That stress can come from:
- Bruises that you get walking, running, or jumping
- Wearing shoes that don't fit or aren't made well
- Being overweight
- Lack of flexibility
These can lead to tendonitis, bursitis and fasciitis, which are all types of inflammation of the tissues that surround your heel. Over time the stress can cause bone spurs and deformities. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout, can also lead to heel problems. Treatments for heel problems might include rest, medicines, exercises, taping and special shoes. Surgery is rarely needed.
Heel Pain/Plantar Fasciitis
Most frequently heel pain is not the result of any single injury, such as a fall or twist, but rather the result of repetitive or excessive heel pounding.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick connective tissue on the sole of your foot that attaches to your heel. The pain is usually felt at the bottom of your heel and is often worse in the morning because of stiffness that occurs overnight. The following increase your risk of developing this painful problem:
- Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles
- Quick turns that put stress on your foot
- Tight calf muscles
- Change in activities
- Change in shoe type
Repetitive pounding on your feet from long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces.
Pronation -- landing on the outside of your foot and rolling inward when walking or running; to know if you pronate, check the soles of your shoes to see if they are worn along the outer edge
Bone spurs in the heel can accompany plantar fasciitis, but are generally not the source of the pain. If you treat the plantar fasciitis appropriately, the bone spur is likely to no longer bother you.
Heel bursitis (inflammation of the back of the heel) can be caused by landing hard or awkwardly on the heel, or by pressure from shoes.