3 Possible Reasons For Your Chronic Heel Pain

Your heels must carry your body weight whenever you walk, run, dance, or simply stand still for long periods. Even so, you may not pay much attention to these critical parts of your feet until they start to trouble you with chronic pain. If you currently suffer from heel pain, ask your podiatrist to check for the following three possible causes.

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the plantar fascia. This tissue stretches from the front half of your foot back to your heel, providing you with the arch support you need for comfortable weight bearing. If your heels hurt when you first stand on them after a period of rest, you may suffer from plantar fasciitis.

Your heels can recover from plantar fasciitis once you eliminate the reason for the inflammation. Your podiatrist may fit you with orthotic insoles to give your arches greater support. Weight loss, physical therapy measures such as stretching exercises, and anti-inflammatory medication may also ease your plantar fasciitis.

2. Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects the heel bone to the calf muscles, enabling you to climb, walk, jump, and run normally. If you experience pain in your heel or along the back of your calf when you perform these activities, you may have Achilles tendonitis, or inflammation of the Achilles tendon due to chronic overuse.

Arthritis in the heel can also cause Achilles tendonitis, especially in older individuals. Extra bone may form at the heel, a problem known as a heel spur. This heel spur may then inflame the Achilles tendon. Treatment for Achilles tendonitis can include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory drugs, and the temporary use of a walking boot.

3. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

A nerve called the tarsal tibial nerve runs from the calf through the inner surface of your heel to your foot. If this nerve gets stretched, pinched, or otherwise damaged, you may struggle with pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected heel. Podiatrists refer to this condition as tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Flat feet, ankle injuries, arthritis, and systemic problems such as diabetes can cause or contribute to tarsal tunnel syndrome. With luck, non-invasive care such as braces, splints, and medication can relieve your symptoms. If these remedies don't work, your podiatrist may need to perform surgery to release a pinched tarsal tibial nerve.

Don't let chronic heel pain keep you off your feet. Schedule an appointment with a local podiatrist service—such as Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists—today so you can discover the underlying cause and get the necessary treatment to restore your comfort and mobility.