Heel Pain Can Have Many Causes
Heel pain can be a deceptive symptom. It sounds rather simple, but it can stem from a multitude of sources and causes. This is why some methods of treatment might not have the desired effects for some people—they just don’t address the root causes they need to!
A number of potential diagnoses exist for heel pain. A few of the more common include:
- Plantar Fasciitis. This is the most common source of heel pain in adults, and centers in a thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs along the underside of the foot. When subjected to excessive stresses or force, the plantar fascia can develop small tears and become inflamed. Sharp heel pain in the morning is a typical symptom of this condition.
- Achilles Tendinitis. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is very strong, but can also become inflamed if brought under too much stress and tearing. While pain can happen farther up the calf, it can also be experienced more toward the back of the heel—a condition often referred to as “insertional Achilles tendinitis”.
- Sever’s Disease. Heel pain is not only a problem for adults, but often for children too. In particular, Sever’s disease can affect active children from the ages of 8-14 whose heel bones are in the process of growth. This condition can occur when the heel bone matures faster than the Achilles tendon, leading to tightness and stress against the bone. This pain tends to grow worse with activity.
There are further potential causes of heel pain, and there can be underlying factors that influence each of them. Some of them can be physical in nature, such as overuse (running or playing too hard or too long when your body is not fully prepared to take it). Others may be more structural in nature, such as having an abnormal foot shape or muscle tightness that places too much stress on certain areas. Sometimes it’s a mixture of these and more!
But until we get to the root of the problem, we can’t recommend the best courses of treatment.