Heel pain affects nearly everyone at one time or another. Sedentary or active, man or woman, overweight or desired weight, heel pain is not discriminating.
If you’re not an athlete subjecting your feet to extraordinary stress, then your heel pain is most likely due to one or a combination of factors: carrying too many pounds on your frame; having a job which requires long periods on your feet; faulty biomechanics of your foot; flat feet; high arches; dress shoes or athletic shoes which don’t support and cushion your feet correctly; or overuse, such as doing too much too soon in a new exercise program, or not warming up your legs before exercising.
The most common reasons for heel pain are:
The tissue that connects your heel bone to your arch is called the plantar fascia, and in the majority of heel pain cases, this is the culprit. The plantar fascia connects at the bottom of the heel bone and wearing shoes which don’t support your arch correctly, playing sports repeatedly on hard surfaces, or carrying extra weight, puts unusual stress on the plantar fascia, and it becomes irritated at this juncture. The irritation is called plantar fasciitis. Read more about plantar fasciitis
Achilles Tendinitis or rupture
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in our body, connecting the heel to the calf. Whenever you jump, walk, or run, your Achilles is hard at work. Because it’s used constantly, it’s also the tendon in your body most likely to be injured. The pain from achilles tendinitis or a rupture of the tendon is felt anywhere in the area behind your ankle. Read more about achilles tendon injuries.
Also known as “pump bump”, this form of heel pain is fairly obvious, as a small bump becomes red and sore on the back of your heel, right about where the hard backs of shoes rub, hence it’s nickname. Read more about Haglund’s deformity.
A bone spur is a bony growth that forms along the edge of a bone in response to wear and tear. When it appears in the heel, it causes heel pain by rubbing on the achilles tendon or other soft tissues. Read more about heel spurs here.
Other, less frequent causes of heel pain are bursitis, stress fractures, and tarsal tunnel syndrome.
To learn more about heel pain, order our free download, The End Of Heel Pain.