Many patients want, understandably, to know “Why does my heel hurt?” Our answer, and subsequent treatment plan, will depend on various symptoms and considerations. Two of the big ones are 1) where is the pain being experienced? and 2) when is the pain strongest? Now, there are certainly other factors, but answering these can at least be a good starting point for understanding what is wrong.
Some general guidelines when it comes to determining the source of your heel pain are:
- If your heel pain is in the bottom of your heel and is strongest with first steps in the morning, you are likely experiencing plantar fasciitis. This is the most common cause of heel pain for adults. The sharp, intense pain on the bottom of the heel emerges following extended periods of rest and inactivity.
- If your heel pain is in the back of your heel and is strongest following physical activity, you are likely experiencing Achilles tendinitis. This condition happens when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed on account of overuse. The pain is often mild at first, increasing over time (and especially during and immediately following physical activity).
- If your heel pain is in the back of your heel and you are an adolescent, you are likely experiencing Sever's disease. Sever’s is not actually a “disease,” but rather a condition created when the heel bone reaches physical maturity before the Achilles tendon. This situation leads to a painful tugging on the heel bone.
- If your heel pain started after physical trauma, you likely have sustained a calcaneal fracture. This is a fairly rare occurrence, but it does happen. As is the case with any fracture, you should absolutely come in so we can evaluate the extent of the damage and then determine an appropriate course of treatment.
Keep in mind that these are only starting points. Your best course of action for an accurate diagnosis is to come and see us here at Richardson Podiatry Associates. We have the experience and training to establish what is actually happening, and then create an effective treatment plan to address it.
For more information on heel pain, or any of the foot and ankle conditions we treat, simply give us a call at (972) 690-5374 or take advantage of our online form to connect with us today.