Foot pain seems inevitable for many people; it doesn’t matter whether you’re an athlete, a performer, a factory worker, or a flight attendant. Our legs and feet are highly susceptible to pain because of the constant force and pressure they endure every day just keeping us mobile.
Some people brush off heel pain, thinking the ache will resolve on its own. However, the discomfort may be due to an underlying problem that needs to be treated, otherwise the issue could become worse.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
Some of the most common causes of heel pain include the following:
The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that connects your toes to your heel along the bottom of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this tissue becomes inflamed from overuse, and the inflammation is felt in the heel.
This condition is characterized by a feeling of stabbing pain in the heel. This can make it difficult to walk or to perform tasks that require long periods of being on your feet.
The aching usually subsides on its own, but the pain may come back if it is not properly checked and treated by a doctor. Anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, but people who are overweight, pregnant, play sports, or are in a profession in which they are on their feet all day long are more vulnerable to developing this condition than others are. People who have flatfoot are also more susceptible to plantar fasciitis.
Inflammation of the Achilles tendon may also be the culprit behind your heel pain. In addition to pain, symptoms can include stiffness and tenderness just above the heel at the back of the leg. These symptoms are often more noticeable in the morning.
The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. This band of tissue makes it possible for you to flex your foot so that you can push off a surface to walk, run, and jump. It also stabilizes your ankle as you move and twist.
Achilles tendonitis occurs because of repetitive or intense strain on this tendon. It can also develop due to poor-fitting footwear or inflammatory illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis. If Achilles tendonitis is not treated properly, the tendon is eventually prone to rupture.
The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that allows your bones, muscles, and tendons to move easily and freely around each other in a joint. Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa, and it typically occurs in joints that perform repetitive movements. While not as common as bursitis of the shoulder or elbow, this condition can easily develop in the heel – and this is called retrocalcaneal bursitis.
Bursitis of the heel causes pain on the back or underside of the heel, which may feel worse with motion or touch. The skin near the heel may also feel warm.
You can develop bursitis with repetitive ankle use. It can also be triggered by poorly cushioned heels. People with a history of arthritis and those who are pushing themselves too hard physically are especially at risk of developing this problem.
Bursitis is often mistaken as Achilles tendonitis.
Medical Treatment for Heel Pain in Naples, FL
Here at the Joint Replacement Institute, we cater to foot and ankle problems in patients of all ages, including people who are experiencing heel pain. We offer both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for your podiatry needs.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation at our Naples office, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (239) 261-2663 or by filling out our appointment request form online. We look forward to serving you!