Is your ankle stiff when you wake up in the morning and you experience an ache in your heel? Or maybe you have sensitivity around the back of your foot.
Whatever the nature of your heel pain, it can be a painful experience all around. Here are some of the most common reasons your heel might be hurting:
1. A Foot Condition
You may be experiencing your heel pain because of a foot condition you are beginning to develop:
- Plantar Fasciitis. The most common form of heel discomfort is caused by this uncomfortable condition. The ligaments in the foot— the plantar fascia— become inflamed. It’s often caused by age or medical conditions which affect the strength of your tendons.
- Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. This is a long word for tendinitis of the foot. Those who experience repetitive ankle movements or a sporting injury often develop small years in their tendon, which causes inflammation. This can also occur with age or even in those with diabetes.
- Achilles Tendonitis. Men typically develop this type of foot condition more so than women, but it’s often developed from chronically running in worn-out shoes. Those with high blood pressure can also develop this aching in their heel. Poor nutrition can also put you at risk.
- Heel spur. Calcium can build up in your heel and create a bony protrusion which is quite painful. They often develop because of strain on your foot muscles and ligaments or repeated tearing (see injury section below).
These are just a few conditions associated with foot pain, and medical attention may be necessary to reveal another you may be suffering from.
2. An Injury
Injury is a common reason that runners experience heel pain. Repetitive movement or really any kind of excessive physical strain can cause injury to your ligaments and tendons. This strain can over time cause tiny tears, which are unable to heal from being irritated time-and-time again— and develop into more serious problems or one of the conditions mentioned above.
Or, a noticeable occurrence like a sprain or a fracture can also cause chronic heel pain, if not given time and the proper resources to fully or properly heal. One of the best ways to prevent heel injury is to warm up and stretch before activity, and to stop when your body is feeling extreme fatigue.
Overweight individuals can cause their own heel pain problems with excessive weight and strain on their feet. The extra pounds cause extra pressure onto your feet and ankles, which in turn can lead to long-term repercussions.
Obese individuals are more likely to experience foot stress fractures, suffer from foot flattening and are at high risk for developing diabetic foot problems. Read more about the implications in our post on how obesity affects your feet and ankles.
4. Poor Footwear
Those participating in an active sporting activity need supportive shoes that fit correctly. If your shoes are too large and rub the back of your heel or are not providing adequate cushioning or arch support, this could be a reason for your heel pain.
In the same way that those with flat feet can benefit from supportive footwear, individuals with pre-existing heel conditions may need orthotic heel soles or special cushioning to pad their feet.
Reduce Your Heel Pain, Right Away
Heel pain can really affect your day-to-day lifestyle.
Luckily, we’ve got a full team ready to help. We offer attentive heel pain treatment programs, to assess the true problem and grant you the relief you need. In some severe cases of heel injuries, surgery may be required— but you’ll need a licensed podiatrist to find out if your pain can be more easily remedied.
Visit our contact page to make a quick appointment or give us a call today at 239.936.5400.
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