Your heels are the first point of contact with the ground with nearly every step you take and they do an amazing job of absorbing the stress and pressure. The bone that forms your heel is the largest bone in your foot and creates some of the critical structure that is necessary to shape and support the arch.
Muscles and tendons extend on each side of your heel provide movement for your big toe and pinky toe. Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone, so there are many situations where injuries may arise with your heels causing debilitating heel pain and discomfort.
3 common sources of heel pain include the following:
- Achilles tendon injury—This is actually the largest tendon in your body and has the demanding job of connecting your heel bone with your calf muscle. The location where it attaches to your heel bone is particularly sensitive to disruption and will often be the sight of pain and discomfort caused by repetitive stress, injury or overuse.
- Plantar fasciitis—One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This condition affects the band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot between your heel bone and your toes. When this arch tissue is irritated and inflamed, the pain often shows up in the heel and can be especially noticeable when first getting out of bed after resting.
- Haglund’s deformity—The “pump bump” is often caused by tight fitting shoes. This painful growth appears on the back of the heel and forms partially in response to the excessive pressure and rubbing caused by high heels and other tight shoes.
Treatment for heel pain can be often be accomplished easily with custom-fitted orthotic inserts used to decrease pressure on the heel. For more difficult cases, advanced treatments like laser and shockwave therapy can reduce pain and help improve blood circulation.
If you are experiencing pain in your heel, see your foot care professional for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatristZahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!