The skin on the heel is some of the thickest on the entire body because it supports so much of our weight. Almost every step or jump requires action from the heels in some way. As a result, our heels may be prone to some wear and tear that the other parts of our feet do not experience. Some heel problems may be caused by improperly fitting footwear, while others may be the result of your foot structure or your walking motion. Here are 4 problems that may cause heel pain and significant discomfort during your favorite activities:
- Haglund’s deformity: This is a hard, bony enlargement on the back of the heel. It is most often caused by wearing shoes with a rigid back, such as work boots, high heels, or ice skates, leading to irritation and inflammation.
- Heel calluses: Calluses are areas of thickened skin that form as a result of constant pressure on a particular area. These areas become more sensitive and painful the longer they are exposed to friction.
- Heel fissures: Fissures are cracks in the skin that, like calluses, are caused by pressure and friction. Fissures may be superficial and only penetrate the top of the skin, or they may be deep and expose tissue or blood.
- Heel spurs: Heel spurs are calcium deposits that form into an outgrowth of bone. The area around spurs may become swollen and inflamed when footwear constantly rubs and presses against them.
The best way to prevent these heel problems from becoming worse is to recognize them as early as possible and remove the source of pressure or friction. This may mean purchasing more supportive footwear or orthotics. At Syracuse Podiatry, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico pledges to improve your quality of life by treating all foot and ankle ailments, from the ones listed above to deformities such as bunions, hammertoe, and ingrown toenails. If you are from Central New York, come see us at our Fayetteville office! Contact us or call us at (315) 446-3668 with any questions or appointment requests.