Heel Pain: What causes it?

Definition and Causes of Heel Pain. Symptoms and Origins


Heel pain can take many different forms. This common problem affects people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of activity. Common causes of heel pain include heel spurs, plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the bottom of the foot), Achilles tendonitis (inflammation around the Achilles tendon), and stress fractures. Other possible causes of heel pain include bone cysts, arthritis, or nerve damage in the foot, as well as Sever’s disease in children.







Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It is caused by tension on the ligament under the bottom of the foot, called the plantar fascia. This tension occurs when too much pressure is placed on this ligament during activities such as running, jumping, or climbing stairs. In addition to being painful, it can also lead to a condition called a heel spur, which causes calcification of the plantar aponeurosis.




Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the heel to the calf muscles. It can occur after activities such as running or jumping, but can also be caused by chronic issues such as poor flexibility or overuse. This condition is usually painful and can be accompanied by swelling, redness, tenderness, and stiffness in the area around the tendon.




Heel spurs, or calcaneal spurs, are deposits of calcium that can form in the heel bone and cause sharp pain when walking or standing. They are usually caused by excessive stretching of the plantar aponeurosis, which leads to calcification of the ligament. Heel spurs can also be linked to certain activities such as running or sports, but can also be caused by poor foot posture.




Stress fractures of the heel are small cracks in the bones of the foot, usually caused by repetitive force and pressure during activities such as running or jumping. These fractures can be very painful and take several weeks to heal, so it is important to rest and not put too much pressure on them.




Bone cysts are pockets of fluid that develop in the heel bone. They often occur for no known reason and can cause pain during physical activity. They can also be associated with certain medical conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis.




Arthritis is a common condition that affects joints and can cause pain and stiffness. In cases of foot arthritis, the heel bone is often affected, which can cause pain when walking or standing.




Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a type of heel pain that is mainly found in children and adolescents. It is caused by the growth plate located at the back of the heel bone not being strong enough to support normal activities such as running or jumping.”


This condition can cause pain and swelling in the heel area, making walking or standing difficult. Growing pains are especially common in children. They are often temporary, and it is recommended to see a doctor if they persist. A child experiencing growing pains may complain of foot, knee, and lower back pain.


The frequency of pain can be very variable and the child may have difficulty identifying where the painful area is. Growing pains can occur at rest, during activity, and even at night. It is not uncommon for a child to suffer from muscle pain and be awakened by it. The scientific literature does not agree on the exact cause of growing pains.


Most of the time, a muscle imbalance or biomechanical problem is present. If your child is not very endurance, stumbles, is clumsy, or easily asks to be held, it is relevant to consult a podiatrist to ensure that a biomechanical anomaly is not responsible for your child’s pains.


Some older children may also lose interest in a sport because they experience pain during activity.




Nerve damage can also be the cause of heel pain, particularly when nerves are pinched or trapped in the foot. This type of injury can be caused by various conditions such as diabetes, trauma, surgery, or infection. If left untreated, it can cause chronic pain and other nerve damage.




Inflammatory diseases such as gout and plantar fasciitis can cause heel pain. Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint, while plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that can cause pain and stiffness.




Heel bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that protect the heel bone. This condition can be caused by overuse, excessive pressure, or a heel injury. It can cause pain during any type of activity and make normal walking difficult.




Heel fractures are caused by a traumatic injury to the heel bone. This type of fracture can be painful and requires medical attention. It is important to get immediate treatment, as failure to do so can lead to other complications such as arthritis in the joint or chronic pain.


The most common cause of heel pain is usually due to overuse or improper use of the foot. However, other causes may be the cause of this condition. By recognizing the symptoms and consulting your podiatrist as soon as possible, you can ensure that any underlying cause is treated and help prevent other complications.”




 It is important to see a podiatrist as soon as any discomfort in the heel area is noticed, even if it seems minor, to avoid further damage. The sooner a foot problem is diagnosed and treated, the better.


If the pain is due to an injury, health problem, or lack of foot care, it is important to get treatment to avoid worsening the situation.


Consulting a podiatrist who is able to make the correct diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options is essential for relieving heel pain. By adopting appropriate management and prevention strategies, you can help keep your feet healthy and prevent heel pain.

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