When your heels hurt, it makes even the simplest of tasks difficult. But what causes heel pain? Several conditions lead to discomfort in your heel, and figuring out the issue is the first step in getting rid of your pain.
Dr. David Deiboldt and the team at Beltsville Foot and Ankle Center are experts in diagnosing and treating foot conditions like heel pain. Dr. Deiboldt assesses your heel and customizes a treatment plan based on his findings.
What causes heel pain?
Have you ever stepped out of bed and felt the sting of pain from your heel? There's nothing worse than pain in your heel when you have things to do and are active.
Heel pain isn't uncommon, and there are a lot of problems that lead to issues in your heel. Six of the most common conditions that cause heel pain include:
1. Plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is the leading condition that causes heel pain. It happens when your plantar fascia, which runs from your heel to the front of your foot, stretches too far or tears from overuse.
You usually feel pain from plantar fasciitis underneath your heel and your foot.
2. Stress fracture
If you're a runner or play many sports requiring jumping, you're at a higher risk for stress fractures in your foot and heel. Stress fractures may also cause heel pain due to osteoporosis. This condition affects the integrity of your bones.
3. Achilles tendonitis
Your Achilles tendon is a strong band of tissue attached to your heel from your calf muscles. When this tendon becomes inflamed, it leads to heel pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.
The most common causes of Achilles tendinitis are overuse injuries and trauma to the tendon itself.
4. Heel bursitis
If you're having pain that feels deep in your heel or towards the back of your heel, you may be dealing with bursitis. Bursa sacs are small, fluid-filled pouches that cushion your bones against soft tissues in your body.
Heel bursitis happens from too much pressure on your heel from footwear or from injuring your heel repeatedly.
5. Bone spurs
Bone spurs are small growths of bone that occur on the back of your heel, usually from untreated plantar fasciitis. Although some people don't have pain with heel spurs, others experience extreme discomfort from the growth.
6. Sever's disease
Sever's disease is a condition that affects children and adolescents, typically between the ages of seven and fifteen. It happens when the growth plates in the heel are overused, and they suffer trauma, causing pain in the heel.
Are you at risk for heel pain?
How do you know if you're at risk with the issues that cause pain in your heel? Several factors play into your chances of developing heel pain, some of which include:
- High arches
- Flat feet
- Foot or ankle arthritis
- Run or jump a lot
- Improperly fitted shoes
- Stand a lot for work
The shape and structure of your feet are also crucial factors in developing heel pain. You may also be at risk for heel pain from the way you walk, which could put unneeded stress on your heel bone.
Anything that puts too much strain on your foot or heel can ultimately lead to issues with your heel. If you're concerned about heel pain, Dr. Deiboldt gives tips to decrease foot stress.
Call our Beltsville, Maryland office at 301-804-1174 to make an appointment today with Dr. Deiboldt about your heel pain, or book a consultation online.