Heel painis listed among casual illness of all generations. It is generally affecting all age groups of people, but shows its keen peak on the old age people. Heel pain is not a disease, which is one of the symptoms of the underlying disease of the foot. Moreover, this heel does not reflect as a result of a life-threatening situation rather it shows a mild degree dilemma of the foot.

Causes

The causes of the heel pain belongs to the wide coverage of topics, however, the cause of heel pain is due to a long term stress to the foot rather than an acute one time cause. The main causes are

  • Achilles tendonosis or Achilles tendonitis – It is one of the type of degenerative and progressive disease affects the Achilles tendon of the foot. This disease brings damage, especially micro tears in the tendon and also in the tissue around the tendon. This leads to increase in the number of cells, which helps in repairing process. This process results in the decrease of the tensile strength of the tendon and makes it more prone to rupture. In addition, the micro tears undergo secondary changes due to the repairing cells and as a result of it can see the thickening of the Achilles tendon, which exerts severe pain during movement as well as on rest.
  • Plantar Fasciitis or Plantar Fasciosis or widely known as jogger’s heel – It is a type of inflammation in our plantar fascia. Plantar fascia is a ligament that runs between the heel bone and the tip of the foot. This ligament is stretched due to overuse, which can be due to increased intensity of exercise, or increase in weight and can result in inflammatory changes in the stretched regions of the ligament, especially in the place of the heel bone. This plantar fasciitis results in a severe pain underside of the foot and can be quite above the threshold level after a long rest. This condition listed as the top and the commonest cause of heel pain.

  • Bursitis of the heel – This is the inflammatory change of a specific bursa, which is located behind the heel. The bursa is a sac which is made out of fibrous tissue and the sac encloses the fluid inside it. Typically, the inflammation provokes pain in the region underneath the heel bone or behind the heel bone. This condition results from the simple to complex causes. One of the commonest and the easiest way to get heel bursitis is pressure exerted by your footwear or accidently landing on the heel, while doing exercise or more usually while dancing.
  • High heel bumps or heel bumps – These are the result of excessive growth of the heel bone. It is due to the friction caused to the bone when it is not yet fully grown, which results in the increased or bump formation especially in teen years. This disease is caused also by the wearing of high heels during their teen years in girls. However, the resulting point is the development of heel pain.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome or posterior tibial neuralgia – The development of the pain in the heel due to the prolonged compression of the tarsal nerve when it passes through the tarsal tunnel.
  • Severs disease or Calcaneal/heel apophysitis – It is the disease of young generation especially for children and teenagers. It is due to the excessive usage of the heel bone or because of many micro traumas to the growing heel bone. It has finally resulted in severe heel pain.
  • Stress fracture – It is also one among the commonest causes of heel pain. It happens, when the foot is used in excessive or hard exercises, which can cause continuous stress to the bone.
  • The other minor causes of heel pain may be the result of bone tumors like Morton’s neuroma, fibromyalgia, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteomyelitis, osteoporosis, peripheral neuropathy, and bone cyst.

Signs and symptoms

The obvious sign is the pain. This pain might be mild and gradual or severe and intense. The pain may worsen and amplify when working, while at rest to be also characterized by severe pain.

Diagnostic methods

Generally, the diagnosis of the heel pain can be achieved by physical examination of the foot, through collecting existing data about the pain. In addition, inquiring about the type of work he or she is doing, the type of working environment, type of exercise you do etc.

Additionally, to support and to ensure the situation, a common blood analysis, urine analysis along with the x-ray picture is examined.

Treatment of heel pain

The basic principle of treating heel pain lies within the diagnosis of the underlying causes of heel pain and treating the underlying disease. There are some crucial moments in the treatment plan of heel pain.

Initially, the affected foot should be rested for enough time without straining further by walking or doing exercise. The resting period helps to prevent further damage.

Another important and the essential part of the treatment is a pain reliever. You might use ice bags on the affected foot to release the pain, but more often NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are used to remove pain as well as the inflammation.

The decrease of pain does not reverse the situation to the good old days. However, the use of the apt choice of footwear plays a vital role in the treatment of heel pain. If all these fail, you might want to use other auxiliary services with orthoses. Orthoses are specialized apparatus helps to modify the functional and structural nature of the neuromuscular apparatus of our body.

Prevention of heel pain

It is wiser to prevent your foot from heel pain, than dealing with it and following the day-to-day activities. As a first step, you need to lose weight if you are fat. Increased weight or obese condition cause extra stress on the heel, and as a result appearance of pain.

The second common preventive method is through careful selection of your shoes and slippers. The running shoes are more commonly stated as the most comforting form of footwear. This also means the end of the fashion games with high heels among girls.

Conclusion

As of now, we came to know the wide spectrum of knowledge about the chief causes of heel pain. It helps us to figure out the underlying cause easily and helps to direct the correct form of treatment. The degree of heel pain differs from one disease to another; hence, the degree of discomfort too changes along with it. It is the time to take care of your heel pain and giving a strong send off to heel pain from your life.

Dr. Paul A. Weiner Podiatric Medicine and SurgeryNeeding more information on Heel Pain and treatments available? Give us a call at (561) 265-5424, or contact us . Find the best podiatry services in Palm Beach County at our Delray Beach Foot Clinic located  here. Needing to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Weiner Click here.

 Posted on : July 23, 2014