If you are experiencing pain on the underside or back of your heel, it is not always cause for alarm. Minor heel pain will usually subside with rest and by avoiding rubbing on the heel from tight fitting shoes. Heel pain can be caused by a variety of issues, some of which are serious enough to sideline you for days at a time.
Some factors and conditions that may be implicated in the onset of heel pain include the following:
Achilles tendon injury—This large tendon runs along the back of your heel and connects to your calf muscle. It is responsible for allowing you to point your foot and push off when you walk or exercise, so bruising, tearing, or breaking this tendon can cause pain, discomfort and a lack of mobility. Depending upon the severity of the injury, treatments can range from resting and icing all the way to surgical repair of a torn or broken tendon.
Heel bone fracture—Actually breaking your heel bone may occur during vigorous workouts and exercise, especially in high impact court sports such as tennis and basketball, where there’s a lot of running and jumping and twisting and turning.
Diabetes—nerve damage from diabetes, which is called peripheral neuropathy, can cause pain and a numbing sensation in the heel.
Plantar fasciitis—The wide band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot is called the plantar fascia. When this tissue becomes inflamed and irritated due to overuse or injury, it can cause radiating problems into your Achilles tendon.
Heel callus—Thick, dry skin that forms around your heel in response to rubbing on the back your shoes can suddenly crack and break open causing severe pain and making it hard to just stand and walk.
Gout attack—This is a condition caused by uric acid crystallizing in the joints causing severe pain. Although the big toe joint is typically affected, other joints in the foot including the ankle and heel can also be stricken.
Many foot problems have similar symptoms, so it is very important to see a foot doctor to find out what is actually causing your heel pain.
The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).