What Are the Top 5 Causes of Heel Pain?

Persistent heel pain can make it difficult to stand or walk and can affect your ability to carry out normal daily activities. Heel pain can be caused by several factors, such as the development of a foot condition. Various methods are available for effectively treating heel pain. Dr. Timothy Gardner, the experienced podiatrist at our office in Knoxville, TN, treats heel pain due to injuries, an underlying condition, and other causes. 

Common Causes of Heel Pain 

Heel pain and discomfort can result from many different factors, such as an injury, overuse, or even wearing shoes without adequate support. Five of the top causes of heel pain include:

Plantar fasciitis — A condition associated with pain along the bottom of the heel caused by inflammation or tearing of the planter fascia tissues that run along the bottom of the feet. These tissue provide shock absorption, but can become damaged due to repeated stretching, constant pressure, and excessive wear and tear. 

Achilles tendinitis — A condition associated with pain along the back of the heel. The condition can develop when the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone, becomes inflamed or strained due to standing for prolonged periods or performing repetitive movements. Having arches that are low or flat can also lead to achilles tendinitis. 

Heel bursitis — This condition is associated with pain at the back of the heel or deep inside. Bursitis develops when the bursa become inflamed. Bursa are fluid-filled sacs that provide cushioning for the heel joint. Causes of bursitis include excess pressure on the heel or repetitive motion. 

Heel spurs — Heel spurs are hard bony growths on the bottom of the heel and are the result of calcium deposits. Heel spurs can be caused by untreated plantar fasciitis or repeated tearing of the membrane covering the heel bone.

Stress fractures — A small crack in the heel bone often caused by receptive movements that put stress or force on the heel. Activities such as long-distance running or playing sports that involve a lot of jumping can increase the risk of developing a stress fracture. 

Treatments for Heel Pain

It is important to seek treatment for persistent heel pain to prevent it from becoming worse and to ensure proper healing of whatever injury or condition is causing the pain. Our skilled podiatrist utilizes several methods for treating heel pain at our Knoxville, TN, podiatry office. The right course of treatment will depend on the cause of the heel pain, as well as other factors. Treatments for heel pain include:

  • Custom orthotics 
  • Padding and strapping
  • Removable walking cast
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Arch support bandages
  • Stretching exercises
  • Compression wraps
  • Night splints 

If you are experiencing persistent heel pain, we can help. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gardener to discuss options for treating your heel pain by calling our office in Knoxville, TN, at (865) 218-7474.

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