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Foot & Ankle Specialists



Most Common Causes of Heel Pain and How to Avoid Them


Common Causes of Heel Pain 

Healthy heels are important for leading a healthy lifestyle, where you can partake in your favorite hobbies, go to work without heel pain and enjoy life without movement restrictions holding you back.

The heel is responsible for absorbing the impact of your body weight when you walk, run or jump. The calcaneum, fat pads and ligaments of the heel minimize the shock of your foot hitting the ground, allow you to spring forward after each step, and help to keep you balanced. With all that the heel does to allow you to lead an active lifestyle, heel pain is one of the last things you want to experience. 

Heel pain can range from minor to severe and may leave you unable to walk or stand without discomfort. For all types of heel pain that restrict your movement without signs of improvement, early treatment is of paramount importance for preventing chronic problems. Understanding the causes and types of heel pain, along with effective treatments and preventive measures is essential for avoiding, identifying, managing and overcoming heel pain.

Read on to discover more about heel pain – one of the most common reasons people visit a foot and ankle specialist – and how a podiatrist can help to treat and prevent it.

Causes of Heel Pain

In many instances, heel pain isn’t the result of a single injury to the heel, but rather many injuries that occur over time. The body isn’t always able to keep up with stress and injuries that occur at a fast rate, such as through exercising too frequently, repetitive activities or regular activities on hard surfaces. People who are physically active and who spend many hours a day on their feet can be more prone to heel pain. This is also the case for middle-aged people, children between the ages of 8 and 13 and pregnant women. As well as repetitive injuries, there are many other causes of heel problems that can lead to mild and severe pain, such as:

  • Tumors
  • Cysts
  • Autoimmune issues
  • Diabetes
  • Gaits
  • Nerve irritation 
  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Arthritis
  • Deformities
  • Infections
  • Stress fractures
  • Obesity
  • Incorrect footwear

Achilles Tendon – Achilles Heel Pain Treatment

The Achilles, a common heel issue, is caused by the Achilles tendon which typically causes pain in the back of the heel bone, The Achilles tendon is the major tendon that connects back of your heel to the lower log. A plantar fascia and/oran  achilles tendon pull are the most common causes of heel pain. Achilles Heel pain should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by our Podiatrist in Homer Glen & New Lenox, IL for an accurate diagnosis and Achilles Tendon treatment plan.

Types of Heel Pain

Heel pain is quite complex and there are many variations. The pain can be sharp or dull, appear suddenly or develop over time, be accompanied by swelling and redness, or get worse when a person moves. The symptoms of heel pain are often a good indicator as to the type of heel pain that a person is experiencing. Some of the most common types of heel pain, include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis – An inflammation of the Achilles tendon
  • Heel Bumps – Excessive rubbing of the heel bone
  • Heel Bursitis – An inflammation of the bursa
  • Heel Calluses – An accumulation of tough skin on the bottom of the foot
  • Heel Fissures – Cracking of the bottom and edges of the heel
  • Heel Spurs – An inflammation of the planta fascia, causing boney growths
  • Osteomyelitis – A bone infection
  • Plantar Fasciitis – An inflammation of the plantar fascia
  • Sever’s Disease – An inflammation of the growth plate 
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – An entrapped nerve in the foot

Heel Pain Treatment Service Types

Treating heel pain quickly is important for a quick and safe recovery. Treatment at home can occasionally prove effective. For mild heel pain, rest, gentle stretches, ice and extra support for the heel can sometimes relieve symptoms.

For more severe and persistent heel pain, a safe and successful recovery starts with a visit to a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. Seeking expert care early is critical to prevent problems from worsening to the point where conservative treatment is no longer a viable option.

Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialists provide treatment for immediate pain relief and services for treating the underlying cause of heel pain to deliver long-lasting relief. Heel pain treatment can include:

  • Foot Massage
  • Night Splints
  • Rest
  • Ice 
  • Footwear Improvements
  • Custom Orthotics
  • Physical Therapy
  • Ultrasound Therapy
  • Strapping
  • Corticosteroid Injections
  • Posture Corrections
  • Pain Medication
  • Walking Style Corrections
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Heel Surgery (when conservative treatment has proven ineffective)

As well as treatment, a podiatrist can provide advice on proper heel care to reduce the risk of problems arising in the future. Here are some of the most effective ways to avoid heel pain:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Warm up and stretch properly before exercising
  • Stretch in the morning and evening
  • Wear supportive footwear during exercise
  • Always wear shoes when walking on hard ground
  • Wear shoes that fit properly
  • Rest when tired 

Contact Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialists for Heel Pain Treatment in Chicago

Are you or a loved one suffering from heel pain that isn’t improving or is restricting your movement? You can seek relief today with advice and expert treatment from the professionals at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialists.

At Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialists, we provide podiatric services for a range of common foot and ankle conditions, including those that cause heel pain. We’ve helped many people in Homer Glen and New Lenox, IL to find lasting relief from heel pain, and we can help you as well. Contact us today for more information about heel pain treatment in Chicago.


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