Have You Ever Wondered Why Does Your Heel Hurt?
One of the worst pains imaginable is when your heel hurts. Heel pain comes in many varying causes and pains, but one thing remains constant through all of that: It hurts! No matter what causes it, you can count on heel pain to be one of the most debilitating pains out there. Therefore, it’s important to be able to at least understand what might be causing the agony in your foot.
Keep in mind, your best source of diagnosis is your doctor, but we can still give you some tips and trick to help keep you from injuring that foot further.
What Do the Experts Say?
Many experts say that the most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia, which is a tough ribbon of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, can become irritate or inflamed. This leads to a major amount of pain in your heel, especially right when first getting out of bed in the morning. Generally, that would be the most common time to feel this pain, but you can feel it after standing up from sitting as well.
The cause of plantar fasciitis vary, but experts agree that there are certain people who are more at risk than others.
- If you’re a runner, you start off at a high risk, since plantar fasciitis is most commonly seen as an overuse injury.
- In addition, if you’re female, overweight, or have a job that requires you to be on your feet for a lot of the day, you fall into the higher risk category.
- Plus, just to add insult to injury, if you have either flat feet or high arches you’re more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
Treatment is pretty straightforward for plantar fasciitis. As it is an inflammation, one of the things you can do to manage pain is take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or Naproxen Sodium (Aleve). There are reports by some of the sufferers, however, that taking medication doesn’t always help with the pain.
The best treatments for plantar fasciitis hinge around things you can change, however. If you are overweight, lowering your weight to a healthy weight can help remove stress on the plantar fascia. It’s also recommended that you start to wear shoes with higher support to help absorb some of the shock from walking. Lastly, many experts say that you should stretch your arches to relieve the pain and help get rid of plantar fasciitis. By stretching it out, you also minimize the chance of recurrence.
Plantar Fasciitis Can Get Heel Spurs
There is a reason that it’s important to take care of plantar fasciitis sooner rather than later. Not only will you get rid of the pain in your heel if you get rid of the plantar fasciitis that’s plaguing you, but you prevent the chance of getting heel spurs.
Heel spurs are simple to understand, but painful to deal with. They’re simply a calcium deposit that will occur on the bottom of the foot, which leads to a sharp heel pain throughout the day.
Although as many as one in ten people may suffer from heel spurs, only one in twenty will actually feel any pain from it. And even though heel spurs occur in people that have plantar fasciitis, they do not cause plantar fasciitis. The one advantage of heel spurs is that since the heel spur itself is not the cause of pain, you can treat the pain without having to remove the heel spur.
Of course, you’re at risk to develop heel spurs if you have plantar fasciitis. In addition, you’re at a higher risk if you suffer from many of the same things that plague people at high risk for plantar fasciitis, including running or jogging, shoes with improper arch support, and if you’re overweight.
If It's Not Platar Fasciitis, then What Could be the Causes of Heel Pain
The last two most common reason aren’t as common as plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, but they’re common enough that we felt that we needed to include them. If neither of the above symptoms fit you, then there’s a chance that you could have one of the following two causes of heel pain.
The first one is a stone bruise. The name actually does this one justice, although it’s generally cause by an impact injury more than anything else. It can be caused, however, by stepping onto a hard object. Sufferers often describe the pain as persistent and feeling like they’re walking on a pebble. Even though it is described as a bruise, you may or may not develop swelling or discoloring, as a stone bruise is typically deep under the tissue.
The most important thing to remember when treating a stone bruise is patience. It’s not only typically resistant to being treated, the best way to handle it is through rest, ice, and elevation of the heel. Many experts also say that you could take a NSAID to help with the pain, as well.
Our last one is actually pain behind the heel. If you start experience heel pain that’s behind your heel, you may be suffering from a condition where the area that the Achilles tendon goes into the heel bone has become inflamed. This is typically caused by either running too much, or wearing shoes that cut or run into the back of the heel.
Treatment is fairly straightforward for this type of issue. Generally, you’ll have to stop doing the activity that caused the problem while it heals. On top of that, your doctor may request that you wear a heel insert to help with the pain and treatment. As always, it’s recommended that you stretch your Achilles tendon to help relieve pressure and pain, and use NSAIDs as necessary to help with pain and inflammation.
As you can see, there are many causes of heel pain, all with varying symptoms and treatments. Although you should always consult your doctor prior to starting any home treatments, this should hopefully help you understand what you’re suffering from and assist you with treating it.