Heel Pain: Exploring the Common Causes

One of the most common complaints that send people into our office is heel pain.  Resting your feet isn’t always a convenient option.  We heel pain michigan foot doctorneed to get around, and a heel pain issue becomes serious business when it starts interfering with daily life.

Pain typically comes on gradually, with no injury to the affected area.  It is frequently triggered by wearing a flat shoe such as flip flop sandals or slip on summer shoes.

The  two major causes of  heel pain are plantar fasciitisand Achilles tendonitis.  The easiest way to figure out which one  is causing your pain is by the location of that pain.  Generally speaking, if the pain is in front of your heel bone it is likely plantar fasciitis.  If the  pain is found at the back of the heel, then it is likely Achilles tendonitis. Though they can be devastating and  painful, the prognosis with proper treatment is very good.

Plantar Fasciitis: The pain from this condition is caused by inflammation of a thick tissue that begins at the heel and extends to the toes.  Repetitive stresses  or strains cause microtears in the plantar fascia, which become much larger with continual loading.  Due to the location of the tears, every day activity such as walking and standing interferes with the rest needed for normal healing. Sometimes the problem may occur in the middle of the foot, and the pain might be worse after periods of rest.

Common causes of plantar fasciitis include activity or training that is new or advanced too much or too quickly; standing for prolonged periods on concrete or hard surfaces; faulty foot mechanics like over-pronation (flat feet); tight calf muscles; increased weight; and improper footwear.  It is a condition commonly seen in distance runners, accounting for 10% of all running injuries, but is just as common in the general population.  Running conditions also have an effect, such as running hills and  over awkward terrain.

Achilles tendonitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed as a result of the Achilles tendon being put under too much strain. The Achilles tendon joins the calf muscles to the heel bone, and is found at the back of a person’s lower leg. It is the largest tendon in the body and is able to endure great force, but is still susceptible to injury.

Common causes of Achilles tendonitis are usually the result of strenuous, high impact exercise, such as running. If ignored, Achilles tendinitis can lead to the tendon tearing or rupturing, and therefore it is important to seek the necessary treatment.

Heel pain isn’t something to be taken lightly. If you or a loved one are suffering from heel pain, contact our office to make an appointment to see Dr. Weinert. You may reach our Troy office at (248) 362–3338 or our Warren office at (586) 751-3338 or you may request an appointment online on our website.  You can also request a FREE copy of his book online.