Top 3 Most Common Causes of Heel Pain

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Calcaneus or most commonly known as heel bone is the biggest bone in the foot.  It supports the weight of the body and carries the impact while we run or walk.  This impact always leaves the heel susceptible to injury and pain conditions.  That being said, heel pain can be

 

There may be a lot of causes to inflict heel pain but we have listed the top 3 most common causes documented:

 

Heel Pain
Heel Pain

 

 

  • Plantar Fasciitis

Comes right at the top of the pyramid among the most common heel pains.  It is characterized with the inflammation of the thick ligamentous band that stretches from the heel bone to the toes.  When there is strain to this part, it will result to little tears (or microtears) on the plantar fascia ligament.  In effect, the person will feel acute and chronic pain on the bottom of the heal usually after resting like when he or she gets out of the bed in the morning or after a duration of sitting.

 

The treatment for plantar fasciitis is not surgical normally but may include: stretches, pain medication, ice, rest, shoes insert and physical therapy.  More serious cases may require steroid injections or casting.  However, if all of the aforementioned procedures fail, the patient may then be recommended for plantar fasciitis surgery wherein a portion of the plantar ligament will be cut in order to lengthen it.

 

  • Heel Contusion

It is most commonly known as bruised heel and may be caused by too much long distance running, repetitive pounding and landing heavily on the heel.  While the heel is protected by a pad of fatty tissue, repeated pounding may cause the pad to flatten out, rendering it thinner.  This bruises the bone and causes the actual heel pain.

 

Surgery is very rare to treat this condition unless a stress fracture is present.  The non-surgical procedures entail: ice, compression, elevation, heel pads and rest to correct any biomechanical issues of the foot.

 

  • Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles tendon is the largest and one of the longest tendons in the body, extending from the bones of the heel to the calf muscles. This injury is experienced usually by the recreational athletes.  Stressing this tendon may result in pain, swelling and chronic inflammation wherein a scar named as Achilles Tendinosis occurs.

 

While most of the cases of Achilles Tendinitis can be treated non-surgically, the management includes ice, contrast baths, stretching, limiting of activities, complete rest and taking of non-steroidal anti-flammatory medications. Also the platelet-rich plasma injections and extracorporeal shockwave therapy bring numerous successes in treating the Achilles tendon.  Some cases also require surgery wherein the scar in removed and tendon transfer is needed.

 

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