Why Does Your Heel Hurt? 3 Possible Causes
Are you suffering from heel pain? Mild forms of pain can be a nuisance. More severe pain can be crippling. It can limit your ability to exercise, run, or even walk and enjoy basic mobility. There are many different reasons why your heel could be hurting. The good news is that most of those causes have fairly simple remedies.
Below are four common causes of heel pain along with steps you can take to resolve the issue. If these tips don't work, you may want to visit a doctor and explore other options.
Plantar fascia happens when the plantar fascia ligament is stretched too far and becomes tight. The plantar fascia stretches across the length of the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel to the toes. When it gets stretched, it causes pain across the bottom of the foot and up the back of the heel. Plantar fasciitis is most common in adults over the age of 40, especially those who are active.
If the pain is mild, it can usually be resolved with rest, icing, and anti-inflammatory medicine you can find in any drug store. If that doesn't help, you may need to wear a brace or insert to provide more support.
This is similar to plantar fasciitis, except this is tightness involving the Achilles tendon that stretches up the back of your heel to your calf muscle. Again, Achilles pain is common in adults, especially those who are active. Much like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis can be addressed with icing, rest, and anti-inflammatories. A stretching routine that focuses not only on the Achilles but the entire back of the leg can also be helpful.
If not treated, Achilles tendonitis can become serious, potentially leading to a rupture of the tendon. If that happens, you will likely need surgery. Start with icing and rest and if that doesn't work, see a specialist, who may recommend shots, physical therapy, and other solutions.
Sever's disease is more common in kids, especially those entering puberty. It happens when the heel bone grows faster than the surrounding muscles and ligaments, causing those muscles and ligaments to stretch and tighten. Kids who are active in sports may feel this pain more acutely than those who aren't as active.
Unfortunately, there aren't many options for Sever's other than rest and icing. If the pain is severe, the child may have to take a break from sports until their bones and muscles are more fully grown.
There are other possible causes of heel pain. If these steps don't resolve the issue, you may want to contact a heel pain doctor in your area.