Have you been experiencing an aching heel pain with your first few steps in the morning right after getting up from bed? Or does your pain feel like pin pricks in the bottom of your heel? Could it be caused by a tight Achilles tendon? Given below are 5 of the most common causes for heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis: It is the irritation or inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a flat band of tissue that runs from your heel to the base of your toes. Plantar fasciitis may be caused by spending too much time on your feet, having high arches or flat feet, wearing ill-fitting shoes, tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles, and being overweight. The pain is most severe when you take your first few steps in the morning and slowly disappears as the day progresses.
Heel spurs: They are small calcium deposits that protrude from the underside of your heel. They may not always cause pain, but when present the pain feels like a pin sticking into the bottom of the heel on standing or walking. In general, the larger the heel spur, the greater the pain.
Heel bursitis: A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that surrounds the joint and provides a cushioning effect. There are 2 bursae present near the back of the heel that may become inflamed due to trauma or overuse causing pain and swelling in the heel.
Achilles tendonitis: A condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the large tendon that runs down the back of your heel. The Achilles tendon which is the largest tendon of the body is quite strong; however, microscopic tears may develop with significant stresses over a prolonged period. The tendon may still be functional, but you will experience pain with weightbearing on the affected foot.
Stress fracture: Repetitive stresses from activities such as running, jumping, and dancing can result in a stress fracture of the heel bone. Abnormal bone conditions such as osteopenia can make you prone to stress fractures even while performing routine activities.
If you have been experiencing heel pain that does not seem to be getting better with RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), seek a consultation with a foot & ankle specialist for an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment.
For accurate diagnosis and treatment of problems related to the foot and ankle, please contact the NewportCare Foot and Ankle Center.
NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California. Our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained physicians provide a wide range of services ranging from conservative and non-operative treatments, to advanced and minimally invasive surgical procedures.