Pain in the heels is a common and annoying problem, and it is something that is guaranteed to happen to you at some point in your life. Stinging pain that spreads through the foot and prevents us from moving normally… what could be the reason for that? We will go over some of the most common sources of heel pain in this article.
What is the reason we get pain in the heels?
Pain in the heels usually occurs after physical exertion or a minor accident, or it can occur suddenly and for no apparent reason. The heel is the largest of the 26 legs that make up the human foot, which in turn has 33 joints. The foot is a sophisticated and delicate extremity with more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments; it is only normal that its health and integrity will be compromised from time to time.
When the pain occurs, you will usually feel it either in front of or directly behind the heel. If the pain is severe enough, it can also affect you when you walk. There are several different reasons why you feel pain, which we will talk about below, but above all it is your doctor who will make the diagnosis.
Heel spurs are without a doubt the most common cause of pain in the heels. But what exactly are heel spurs? A heel spur is a bone growth at the base of the heel that extends beyond the normal heel. Even a growth of only a few millimeters is enough to create enormous pain. They tend to flare up after excessive strain on muscles and tendons in the foot, because they stretch the ligaments of the tissues that connect the heel and forefoot and tear in the membrane that covers the heel and leg. How does this happen? If you stumble, wear shoes that are poorly fitted, run with shoes with the wrong shape, and even obesity.
If the pain extends to the sole, you are likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis. This occurs when the fibrous connective tissue (fascia) becomes inflamed. The inflammation can be caused by strain, that you walk too much, run, or wear uncomfortable shoes for extended periods of time.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when soft connective tissue in the sole of the foot is stretched or torn. Keep in mind, however, that heel spurs are often associated with this condition.
When you suffer from plantar fasciitis, resting the affected foot will only provide temporary relief. The pain comes back every time you move your heel. It is important that you consult a doctor and that you follow treatment recommendations and guidelines. As far as home treatments go, do not forget that ice relieves pain, and massaging with rosemary oil will help reduce inflammation. Losing the area also gives good results, as well as rolling the foot over a frozen water bottle.
Overpronation does not sound like much. It happens when we go wrong. When you walk, the heel hits the ground first, and the weight is moved over the outside of the foot to the big toe. When we roll the foot, that is, when we stretch the sole of the foot, too much, it creates an abnormal amount of strain on the tendons and ligaments that are connected to the underside of the heel. This type of injury can also have consequences for the knees and hips if they are not corrected. If we are not careful about how we walk, an imbalance can affect the entire skeleton. Strange, but true.
4. Other reasons why we get pain in the heels
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis: A common and painful condition. The joints in the heels often suffer if you have arthritis.
- Gout: Too much uric acid in the body can lead to inflammation, not only in the big toe but also in the heel. The discomfort is very bad.
- Bursitis: You have probably heard of bursitis. It is very similar to a heel spur, but in this case it is a nerve that grows abnormally and limits your mobility.
- Haglund’s heel: Also very common. The reason why? That you wear high heels too often. There is a growth on the back of the heel bone, right on the Achilles tendon. It’s very painful.
- Inflammation of the Achilles tendon: If you live an active life or do sports, you have probably heard of this type of injury. The inflammation is called tendonitis and it occurs when this part of the foot is strained repeatedly.
- Bruising on the leg: Basically caused by a blow, as if you stumble and accidentally hit something or are suddenly hit. You should have no trouble figuring out what to do here; the first thing you should do is put ice on the site.