Thursday, May 10, 2012

Causes of Heel Pain

Do you feel a stabbing pain in your heel with your first steps out of bed in the morning? You're not alone! Every day, thousands of Americans suffer from this condition. Plantar fasciitis, more commonly known as heel pain, is by far the most common complaint patients bring to podiatric physicians.
Aching heels can truly affect your lifestyle and disrupt essential activities and prevent you, to a large extent, from playing sports or simply going for a walk. An accurate and expedient diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms will help you receive the appropriate treatment.
There are several causes of heel pain. The most common include:
*Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation of the band of fibrous connective tissue (fascia) running along the bottom (plantar) surface of the foot, from the heel to the ball of the foot. Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with plantar fasciitis.
*Heel Spurs: A bony growth on the underside of the heel bone. The spur, visible by X-ray, appears as a protrusion that can extend forward as much as a half an inch. Heel spurs can result from strain on the ball of the foot and repeated tearing away of the lining or membrane that covers the heel bone. Contrary to popular belief, heel spurs are generally not the cause of the pain- the pain you may feel is from inflammation of the plantar fascia.
*Excessive Pronation: Excessive inward motion can create an abnormal amount of stretching and pulling on the ligaments and tendons that attach to the bottom back part of the heel bone. Excessive pronation may also contribute to injury of the hip, knee, and lower back.
*Achilles Tendonitis: Pain at the back of the heel is associated with Achilles tendonitis, which is inflammation of the Achilles tendon as it runs behind the ankle and inserts on the back surface of the heel bone.
Other possible causes of heel pain include Rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis (e.g. gout); Haglund's deformity (a bone enlargement at the back of the heel bone in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone); inflamed bursa (bursitis), a small irritated sac of fluid; neuromas (nerve growths) or other soft-tissue growths; and bruises or contusions, which involve inflammation of the tissues that cover the heel bone. A bone bruise is a sharply painful injury caused by the direct impact of a hard object or surface on the foot.
Some contributing factors associated with heel pain are age (with increasing age, often there is decreasing flexibility); any sudden change in activity (particularly activities that increase weight bearing or pressure on the foot); flat, pronated feet or high-arched feet; a sudden increase in weight; pregnancy; stress from an injury; a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; or medical conditions such as tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Jeffrey S. Kahn, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Heel Pain Doctor in CT
Podiatrist in Rocky Hill and Middletown, CT
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1 comment:

  1. Wonderful information! I think we should get physical therapy to solve these all heel pain problems and stay active.back and neck pain bergen county