About Common Heel Ailments

If you have pain or discomfort in your heel, there are many causes. If the pain is chronic and severe enough to greatly impact the daily use of your foot, it is highly recommended that you see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

For other heel pain ailments, you may be able to get relief and treatment in a variety of ways from stretches to orthotics.

Not every heel pain ailment can be effectively treated in the same manner. It is important, then, to know what the cause of your heel ailment is.

Below are common heel ailments that you may be suffering from:

Stone Bruise

This common heel ailment occurs when you step on a hard or sharp object such as a stone or pebble. A bruise on the fat pad of the heel can result, with some, temporary minor pain and discoloration. The pain typically goes away with rest.

Plantar Fasciitis (Subcalcaneal Pain)

With plantar fasciitis, the tissue band (fascia) that connects the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed and irritated. The pain is located under the heel and is worse with the first few steps in the morning. Heel pads, medication and certain exercises can help reduce the severity of pain and inflammation flare-ups.

Heel Spur

Heel spurs often form as a result of chronic plantar fasciitis. They are calcium deposits formed on the fascia tissue. There may not be pain associated with heel spur.

Pain Behind the Heel

Pain behind the heel can have multiple causes, with the most common being a tear or inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The heel pain tends to build over time and the skin behind the heel can become thick, red and swollen.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a common sports injury caused by the overuse of the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Sharp, debilitating pain from the back of the heel may result.

Heel Bone Fracture

It takes a lot of force and pressure to fracture your heel bone. Falls from ladders, jumps from high heights and victims of car accidents are common causes of heel bone fracture. Heel fractures are painful and severe, requiring prompt treatment, which is usually heel reconstruction surgery.

Heel bone fractures can lead to future heel issues including chronic pain, swelling, loss of motion in the foot and arthritis.