Most Common Heel Pain Causes

The heel is a popular spot for pain. It’s not surprising—after all, your heel typically has to take the full force of your body weight each time your foot lands, with each step you take.

But not all heel pain is created equal. For some, the pain comes only after a full day of standing and walking—or maybe even a little running and jumping. For others, the pain is sharpest right after getting out of bed. Heel pain can be caused by several different common (and uncommon) conditions and scenarios, so it’s important for us to do a little detective work before prescribing a treatment plan.

The two most common causes of heel pain are:

  • Plantar fasciitis: Pain with this condition is typically felt as a stabbing sensation on the underside of the heel, and is often worst in the early morning. It is the result of swelling and/or tearing in the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue on the bottom of your foot.
  • Achilles tendinitis: Your Achilles (also known as the heel cord) may be your body’s strongest tendon, but it can still wear down from overuse. Here, pain is usually behind and just above the heel, and tends to peak after (but not necessarily during) running, climbing stairs, or other athletic activity.

These conditions—along with some others that cause heel pain, such as bursitis or heel spurs—tend to share certain risk factors. For example, if you have faulty foot mechanics (such as flat feet or a tendency to overpronate when you walk), spend a lot of time on your feet, are overweight, are wearing the wrong pair of shoes, or are middle aged or older, your odds of developing heel pain are higher.

Custom orthotics are one of the most potent solutions for heel pain conditions, but we personalize each treatment approach based on the particulars of the condition and the individual needs of the patient. Most cases can be fixed using conservative measures only, though in rare cases surgery might be necessary. For example, if the heel pain is related to a nerve that has been pinched or compressed.

The key takeaway, though, is that heel pain is preventable and treatable, and it doesn’t take much of an investment to significantly improve the quality of your life. So stop hobbling, and make an appointment with the Wilks Advanced Foot Care in Roseburg! You can request a time online, or call our main office at (541) 673-0742.

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