Heel pain is a common foot complaint and may involve injury to the bone, fat pad, ligaments, tendons or muscles. Heel pain usually results from excessive strain placed on the above structures.
Causes of heel pain
Heel pain is caused by many factors, such as obesity, long period of standing, walking or running on hard surfaces, changes in foot mechanics and wearing ill-fitting shoes. Some of the common conditions are listed below: –
- Plantar Fasciitis: This is a condition where your arch ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes gets inflamed.
- Bursitis: swelling of fluid-filled sac at the back of the heel.
- Bruised Heel: The condition when the pain occurs under the heel on fat pad, due to repetitive pounding on the foot, such as from running or tennis. Excessive bruising to the fat pad, may result in bruising of your heel (calcaneal) bone.
- Heel Spur: Chronic heel pain may result in the formation of calcium deposit (heel spur), usually where the fascia tissue band connects to your heel bone.
Symptoms of heel pain
- Pain behind the heel during walking, jogging, or running.
- Pain under the heel, when you take your first step in the morning or when you get up after a period of rest at work.
- You may notice swelling, inflammation, numbness, or tingling
Diagnosis of heel pain
To establish a cause of your heel pain an extensive medical and social history is required, including a thorough physical examination of your foot posture.
Treatment of heel pain
- Rest and ice
- Application of topical inflammatory creams
- Footwear modifications
- Shoe inserts (orthotics)
- Bracing/ tapping