Heel pain is a common problem amongst people. It primarily happens since our body puts a lot of pressure on our heels. This causes a lot of stress to the heels. At times too much stress can push the heels over the edge. When we walk, run or press the brake pedal while driving or whenever we press our feet against hard surfaces, it puts stress in the tissues on our heels. Then the heels start to pain which is one of the most common problems that affects our foot & ankle. In most cases heel pains are not serious issues & they heal once you give the heels some rest. But if it gets serious then you might as well need to go in for surgery to cure the pain. Heel pains are caused due to various reasons.
Heel Pain Reasons
1. Plantar Fasciitis:
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It happens due to the inflammation of the band of tissues (the Plantar Fascia) that extends from the heel to the toe at the base of the foot. In this condition the tissues first become irritated & then they swell up, resulting in heel pain. The primary reason for Plantar Fasciitis is the faulty structure of our foot. That is why people with either flat feet or overtly arched feet are prone to suffer from Plantar Fasciitis.
2. Heel Spur:
The problem of spur is commonly associated with Plantar Fasciitis. Patients suffering from Plantar Fasciitis for long time are prone to get suffer from Spur. Heel Spur happens when a hook of bone protruding from the bottom of the foot is touches the point where the Plantar Fascia is attached to the heel bone.
3. Stress Fractures:
Stress fractures can also cause heel pain although it is not a very common cause for heel pain. Fractures in the bones of the heel only happen when the foot is put under tremendous stress. That is why stress fractures are seen in athletes mostly.
4. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome:
In Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (TTS) a large nerve (Posterior tibial) in the back of the foot gets compressed within the tarsal tunnel. This problem is similar to the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that occurs in the wrist. In TTS, the patients commonly complain of numbness, pain & a burning irritation at the base of the foot. TTS may happen due to injuries to the foot, fracture to a bone in the foot, Ganglions, tumors etc.
5. Posterior heel pain:
In Posterior heel pain, the back side of the foot aches rather than the base of it. Posterior heel pain may happen due to many reasons. Achilles Tendonitis is the biggest reason for Posterior heel pain. Apart from Achilles Tendonitis, reasons for posterior heel pain may include Retrocalcaneal Bursitis & Calcaneal spur.
● If you are experiencing the following symptoms then go to a doctor immediately.
● Inability to walk normally & comfortably on the affected side.
● If your heel pains at night or when you are resting.
● If you have fever or any other type of infection & your heel pains.
● If normal precautions & medications fail to cure your heel pain.
● Swelling or discoloration of the back of the foot.
● Any other unusual symptoms.