What’s Causing Your Heel Pain?

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Sometimes, when problems are rather commonplace, people are quick to dismiss them as being “normal” or “not a big deal.” The problem with this, though, is that the problem doesn’t get resolved and can become a bigger issue over time. We find this happens a lot with heel pain. Many people develop issues in the back of their feet, but do not address them. This is particularly unfortunate, because treatment for these medical problems is often quite effective at taking away the pain.

There are two main reasons for this problem being so widespread – heels endure tremendous physical forces and there are several common causes of heel pain.

We all take it for granted, but feet face a lot of pressure. In addition to supporting our bodyweight when standing, which can be taxing in and of itself, walking and running increase the amount of physical forces placed on the lower limbs. The heels can receive forces up to four times your bodyweight when you jog or run!

When it comes to the various causes of heel pain, some of the more common ones include:

  • Plantar fasciitis. The leading cause of heel pain for adults, this condition develops when the plantar fascia—a fibrous band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot—sustains tears on account of excessive stress. It is common to have sharp, intense pain in the bottom of the heel, particularly following sleep or extended periods of rest or inactivity.
  • Achilles tendinitis. When intense physical activity is suddenly performed, or the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed due to overuse, you can develop pain in the back of the heel. You will find this to be strongest during and following physical activity.
  • Sever’s disease. Plantar fasciitis is the most common source of heel pain for adults, but this is the leading cause for adolescents. When the lower limbs are developing, the heel bone can sometimes reach physical maturity before the Achilles tendon. This causes pulling in the back of the heel, and the pain is often increased with physical activity.

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