Heel pain can be triggered by a number of factors, from Achilles tendonitis to bone spurs to plantar fasciitis. It is characterized by difficulty standing or walking for long periods of time, intense pain in the heel when weight is applied, and irritation in the heel due to inflammation.
Learning about the various causes and symptoms of heel pain can help you take care of your heels and prevent problems. Below are some common causes of heel pain:
Achilles tendonitis: This condition, which causes dull or sharp pain along the back of the Achilles tendon, can be triggered by overuse of the foot, especially excessive running and jumping, as well as wearing poorly fitting shoes.
Bursitis: Heel bursitis causes pain at the underside or back of the heel. It can be caused by wearing shoes with poorly cushioned heels.
Plantar fasciitis: This is an inflammation of the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes. If you feel heel pain when you stand up first thing in the morning, it may be plantar fasciitis.
Sever's disease: This overuse injury is the most common cause of heel pain in older children (girls 8-10 years old and boys 10-12 years old), and it can occur in one or both heels. Soccer players and gymnasts are often affected, but any physical activity that involves running or jumping can cause Sever's disease.
Spurs: Spurs are calcium growths that develop on the bones of your feet due to muscle strain. Standing for long periods of time, wearing poorly fitting shoes or being overweight can make spurs worse.
Many other conditions can cause heel pain. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you have significant heel pain that does not improve within a few days, or if you have been self-treating moderate heel pain for several weeks with no improvement.