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Why Your Heel Might Be Hurting

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Heel pain is quite common, but this doesn’t mean it is “normal.” Instead, it is an indication of a problem that needs attention. The key to relieving the pain is identifying the problem so it can be addressed.

There are various causes of heel pain:

  • Plantar fasciitis. If your heel pain is sharp and intense and is strongest following extended periods of rest, especially with the first steps of the day after a night’s sleep, you likely have issues with your plantar fascia.
  • Achilles tendinitis. In some instances, the pain is located near the upper back part of the heel and originates from an overworked Achilles tendon. Pain from This condition will usually be worse following activity, but then improve with rest.
  • Sever’s disease. Despite the name, this is not technically a disease. When children, particularly adolescents, complain about heel pain, Sever’s (calcaneal apophysitis) is often the problem. It is a condition caused by differences in growth rates of the heel bone (calcaneus) and Achilles tendon.
  • Haglund’s deformity. Excessive tight footwear can lead to an array of problems, including the development of a noticeable bump on the back of the heel bone. Pain is experienced in the area where the Achilles attaches to it.
  • Heel spur. Calcium deposits can build up over time to become a bone spur. When this happens on the bottom of the foot, especially when the plantar fascia begins to pull away from the heel bone, it is called a heel spur. This can sometimes accompany plantar fasciitis.
  • Bursitis. The body has several small, fluid-filled sacs known as bursae used for cushioning. They are found in various areas, including the heel. When one of these sacs becomes inflamed, it is called bursitis. This condition is a possible explanation for pain behind or under your heel.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome. There is a “tunnel” formed in the ankle between bone and a thick ligament sheath. It contains blood vessels and nerves. When the medial calcaneal or lateral plantar nerves within the tunnel are compressed, it can cause heel pain.

There are many different causes of heel pain, but one commonality among them is the fact you can find the treatment you need for it at McDowell Podiatry Group. We will diagnose your condition and then devise the best treatment to relieve your discomfort. For more information, or to schedule an appointment at our Carmichael, CA office, give us a call at (916) 961-3434.

Dr. Brian McDowell
Dr. Brian McDowell, board-certified podiatrist, provides cutting-edge foot and ankle care in Carmichael, CA.
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