5 Causes of Heel Pain

You get out of bed and take a step, and (Ouch!) there’s that heel pain again. What could be causing it? From your Atlanta podiatry experts at American Foot and Leg Specialists, here are some common conditions that cause heel pain, and that make your life no fun.

1. Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. Sometimes the Achilles tendon can begin to have little rips or tears that don’t cause symptoms. But over time these tears can become worse, causing inflammation, pain, and if left untreated, a rupture or complete tear. Achilles tendinitis usually happens from running or repeated movements in sports, or a job that involves walking.

2. Heel Spurs

A heel spur is a calcium deposit on the heel bone. It has a pointed shape, which gives it its name. Sometimes a heel spur can be 1/2 inch long, but it can only be diagnosed with an X-ray. Heel spurs can be caused by stress on the heel from running, jumping, poorly fitting shoes, walking abnormalities, or obesity.

3. Plantar Fasciitis

The foot has tissue running from the heel to the toes, which is called the plantar fascia. This tissue supports the foot. Plantar fasciitis results when the plantar fascia becomes partially torn from over-stretching resulting in inflammation. This can happen when people exercise too much, stand a lot, are overweight, have poorly fitting shoes, or have flat feet. It’s thought that stress on the fascia can also lead to heel spurs.

4. Excessive Pronation

Our feet naturally tend to roll inward when we walk or run, and this is called pronation. Excessive pronation is too much foot roll. This distributes the weight on the foot unevenly, and causes problems that may include heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. People who have flat feet, walk on hard surfaces, or are obese may show excessive pronation.

5. Bursitis of the Heel

A bursa is a fluid sac that cushions tendons or muscles against bones. Bursitis of the heel is the swelling of the bursa near the heel, where the Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone. It’s caused by overuse of the ankle from running, jumping, or walking. Often people who start a vigorous exercise routine find themselves with bursitis of the heel.

Heel pain gets old fast. If you find yourself with heel pain, contact our Atlanta podiatry practice at American Foot and Leg Specialists We can treat your heel pain and get you back on your feet.