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Heel Pain

Podiatrists at Hall Bank Clinic have extensive experience with heel pain and can identify when something is wrong even after traditional therapies have not been successful.

What causes heel pain?

Foot pain isn't pleasant for anyone, but heel pain can be especially uncomfortable. If you are suffering from chronic heel pain, it could be caused by a number of reasons, some of the most common include: 

- Achilles Tendonitis 
- Plantar Fasciitis 
- Heel Spurs
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- A fracture or sprain

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Plantar Fasciitis

If you are experiencing chronic heel pain and find that it happens more when you stand for a long time or when you first wake up in the morning, you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition affecting the muscles in your foot's sole. 

Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the connective tissue under the bottom of the foot and most often occurs as pain in the bottom of the heel. 

The plantar fascia is one of the most robust structures in your body. Studies show that it can withstand up to 30 times your body weight when jumping or landing; however, by association, the "weakest point" is where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone.

 

What Might Be Causing Your Heel Pain?

If the heel pain has been persistent for an extended period of time it can be challenging to know the cause. The bone attempts to protect itself from tension with the plantar fascia by calcifying, forming a spur. A calcified spur is not a problem on its own, but if it is associated with inflammation, it can become very painful while walking.

Heel pain can be tricky to diagnose. Believe it or not, a vast number of cases that are diagnosed as plantar fasciitis are actually something else entirely! This is because the symptoms of heel pain are easily confused with those of other diseases. To treat heel pain, we must first determine what's causing it.  

If you are suffering from heel pain, you can look at our handy guide to diagnose what your heel pain could be. However, we suggest that the best diagnosis for your pain will always come from a trained professional like ourselves. 

The Leading Causes of Heel Pain

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a condition that leads to irritation and inflammation in the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is a large tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This condition can be very painful and make it difficult to walk or put weight on the affected leg.

The Achilles tendon is responsible for enabling you to jump, walk, run, and stand on your toes. If this area becomes overused or damaged, it can lead to Achilles tendonitis.

There are two main types of Achilles tendonitis:
Non-insertional typically affects younger or more active people. This will cause small tears in the fibres of the middle portion of the tendon.

Insertional Achilles tendinitis will typically affect anyone of any age and isn't limited to those who are active. Insertional Achilles tendinitis will typically involve the lower section of the tendon where it attaches to the heel bone.

If you're dealing with Achilles tendinitis, there are some simple things you can do at home to help alleviate the pain and promote healing. However, if self-care measures don't seem to be working, it's essential to consult a healthcare provider. If the condition worsens, the tendon can rupture, a serious complication. Medication or surgery may be necessary to treat Achilles tendonitis.

The main symptoms of Achilles tendonitis

The main symptom of Achilles tendinitis is heel pain when you walk or run. You may also have tight calf muscles and a limited range of motion when flexing your foot.

 

Other common symptoms you may notice are:


Pain in the heel or back of the calf when touching or moving it
Discomfort and swelling in the back of the heel
A more restricted range of motion in your foot and heel movement
Stiffness and soreness in the Achilles tendon

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of each foot and connects the heel bone to the toes (plantar fascia). This condition can be quite painful and make walking or standing difficult.

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that can cause sharp pain in the foot. This pain is often worse first thing in the morning, but it should improve as you start to move around. However, it may come back after long periods of standing or sitting.


There is no one definitive cause of plantar fasciitis. Some possible contributing factors include being overweight and participating in high-impact activities such as running.


Complaints of foot and heel pain come in all shapes and sizes, but plantar fasciitis is definitely one of the most common. Your plantar fascia ligaments are put under a lot of strain on a daily basis, and too much pressure can cause them to tear or become damaged. This leads to inflammation of the plantar fascia, which in turn results in heel pain and stiffness.

The main symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that can cause severe pain in the heel or foot. It usually only affects one foot, but it is possible for both feet to be affected. It can be debilitating and make it difficult to walk or stand. This condition can cause a dull or sharp ache in the foot, and some people also feel burning or discomfort extending from the heel outward.


The morning is usually the worst time for heel pain. It can be difficult to walk or even stand up after sitting or lying down for a while. Climbing stairs can be especially challenging due to the stiffness in your heel.

After engaging in strenuous activity, people with plantar fasciitis may experience a flare-up of pain due to increased irritation or inflammation. Unlike other types of pain, those with plantar fasciitis usually don't feel discomfort during the activity but rather just after stopping.
 

Plantar Fasciiis

Heel Spurs

A heel spur is a condition that affects the foot, caused by a growth of bone called a calcium deposit. This deposit extends from the heel bone to the arch and can eventually affect other parts of the foot. Heel spurs often start in the front of the heel and can cause pain and discomfort.

Heel spurs can be small or large but usually only grow to about half an inch in length. They may not be visible to the naked eye, and so can be tricky to detect. However, not all heel pain is caused by heel spurs - sometimes, the spur isn't painful.
 

The main symptoms of Heel Spurs

Heel spurs can cause a lot of pain in your feet. The symptoms may include inflammation, swelling, and warmth in the affected area. These symptoms can spread to the arch of your foot and make it difficult to walk. If you have heel spurs, you may eventually see a small bony protrusion on your heel.

Heel spurs are often painless and cause no symptoms. However, they can cause other foot-related issues to become more painful. They are usually seen on X-rays and other tests performed for another foot condition. Heel spurs are usually discovered only when looking at the results of these tests.
 

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