Your heels usually hit the ground first with nearly every step you take, faithfully doing an amazing job of absorbing all the stress and pressure of walking, working, and exercising. But all this stress eventually has consequences that can cause heel pain in a variety of ways. For example, the Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone, and this insertion point is frequently the location of heel pain.
The heel bone is the largest bone in your foot and one of the most painful heel injuries is a broken heel bone that may require surgery and take months of recovery.
Some other common causes of heel pain and discomfort include the following:
- Heel spurs—When the heel of the foot is exposed to constant stress, calcium deposits can build up on the back of the heel bone. While this usually goes unnoticed and has no effect on a person’s daily life, repeated damage can cause these deposits to continue forming on top of each other, causing a bone deformity called a heel spur. This bump sticks out and can make it hard or impossible to wear regular shoes.
- Achilles tendonitis—This is the tendon that connects your calf muscle to your foot at the heel bone. Repetitive stress can cause stretching and tearing in this tendon that can be extremely debilitating, causing severe heel pain.
- Plantar fasciitis—This condition is caused by stress and pressure to the wide band of fibrous tissue that spans the bottom of your foot and connects at the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis usually responds well to resting and the use of arch supports and orthotic inserts. For more difficult cases, extracorporeal shockwave therapy may be necessary.
If you are experiencing pain in your heel, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.