Heel pain is a common foot problem for all. It generally occurs under or behind heels. This pain is the result of damage to the tissues that connect the heels with the rest of the leg. It is also caused by infections or abnormal growth of heel bones.
In most cases, heel pain is not a major foot problem. Usually, it is mild and cured by itself within a short time. Sometimes, in a few cases, it may turn into chronic pain. It will disrupt your walking, and sometimes it may disable you.
Our foot contains 26 bones and the heel bone named calcaneus is the largest one. Heels bear the total pressure of the body and support us to walk and run. According to experts, heels absorb 1.25 times of body weight while walking and 2.75 times while running.
And it makes our heels prone to damage and pain. Sometimes heel pain caused by sudden damage while running, jogging, and jumping. It is also caused by diseases or abnormal growth of bones. In other cases, people above 40 years of age suffer heel pain by the gradual wear and tear of the tissues.
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain caused by different reasons. Some are serious and some are normal. Below, I will give you a short brief about the various causes of heel pain.
1. Injury at Plantar Fascia
It is known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes. This ligament plays a vital role in the movement of our feet by stretching and contracting. Sometimes over-stretch or injury tears the tissues of this ligament and damages it.
Generally, it happens near the heel bone. Sometimes the inflammation may occur in the middle of the foot. You can’t notice the pain of plantar fasciitis at the beginning. It arises after a long rest like sleep.
2. Fracture Caused by Stress
Repetitive and heavy stress can cause fractures to the heel bone. Huge & heavy exercise, manual work, and sports may bring this pain. Most of the time, sportsmen suffer heel pain at the metatarsal bones due to the stress fracture.
3. Formation of Heel Bursitis
It usually occurs at the back of the heels. Heel bursitis is a fluid-filled sac behind the heels. It is the result of the inflammation of the bursa. Bursa locates at the back of the heels. Excessive use of ankles irritates and inflames the bursa. It is also caused by too much walking, running, jumping, awkward landing, and the pressure of the unfitted footwear.
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4. Haglund’s Deformity (Pump Bumps)
This syndrome occurs due to bone enlargement at the back of the heels. One of the main reasons for this pain is the continuous pressure of closed-back shoes or pump shoes. And this creates irritation and pain of the heels.
5. Achilles Tendon Rupture
Damage of the tendon cord behind the heel is responsible for this type of heel pain.
6. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
It is also known as posterior tibial neuralgia. It happens due to the compression of the tibial nerve that passes through the tarsal tunnel. This creates pain and tingling sensation around the ankles and sometimes at the toes. This may create swelling of the foot.
7. Bone Cyst
It is fluid-filled holes that develop inside the bones. It can happen at any age, but children and young adults suffer most often.
This is a rare but serious case. Osteomyelitis is the infection of bone or bone marrow. It is usually caused by bacteria named Staphylococcus aureus. It creates deep pain and muscle spasms to the sufferer.
9. Heel Cracks
It is one of the main reasons for heel pain. Heel crack caused by various reasons such as obesity, prolonged standing, diabetes, lack of nutrition, aging skin, moisture deficiency, etc. You can heal your cracked heel through some effective home remedies such as foot soak, scrub, moisturizer, etc.
10. Heel Bone Spur
Heel bone spur is the most common bone problem affecting the heel. It mainly develops near the origin of the plantar fascia. This ridge of bone develops over years. You can only notice it by X-ray scanning. This bone spur is usually parallel to the ground.
Besides these, some other reasons are responsible for heel pain. Such as-
a. Heel pad inflammation
b. wrong posture during running or walking
d. Server disease
e. Gout and so on.
Symptoms of Heel Pain
Heel pain generally comes without showing any symptoms. It appears gradually with no injury or suddenly by any accident. The internal causes of heel pain are triggered mainly by wearing a flat shoe. It creates damages to the plantar fascia by over-stretching while you walk or run.
Heel pain gets noticed after taking a long rest. Pain turns to worse just in the morning after waking from the bed. You can see the heel bursitis, heel cracks, and pump bumps by your own eyes.
The Last Words
Heel pain is generally recovered by itself. If it doesn’t, the pain lasts longer, feet swell, causes fever, and you can’t walk normally; talk to your podiatrist. He will tell you better what you should do or not.
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