Is Your Heel Pain A Heel Spur Or Something Else?

If you are experiencing heel pain, you may be wondering if you have a heel spur or if the cause or your discomfort can be attributed to something else. There are a couple of main causes of heel pain and when you consult with a podiatrist, these will likely be investigated first.

Main Causes of Heel Pain

  • Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles tendon runs from the calf muscles to the heel bone. When it becomes inflamed from being put under too much strain, this condition is referred to as Achilles tendinitis.

Achilles tendinitis usually occurs as a result of too much running. The tendon feels sore a few centimetres above where it meets the leg bone, and the lower leg feels stiff. The tendon may swell or form a bump, or creak when touched or moved.

Pain in the Achilles tendon is experienced either while running or a couple of hours afterward. More pain occurs when sprinting or running for a long time, such as running cross country, or while performing activities like climbing stairs.

  • Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition which occurs when the tissue that begins at the heel and extends to the toes becomes inflamed and painful. Repetitive strain on this part of the foot can lead to micro tears, which can cause irritation with constant wear and tear

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are pain directly under the heel, which is generally more noticeable with the first steps taken in the morning or after sitting for a time. The level of pain decreases during sleep and seldom keeps people up at night.

It is quite common among athletes, especially distance runners. Other causes of plantar fasciitis are standing for prolonged periods on concrete or hard surfaces, flat feet, being overweight, and wearing improper footwear.

Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

A number of people who have plantar fasciitis also have heel spurs. A heel spur is a hook which can form on the heel bone, and it is associated with this condition.

It’s possible to have a heel spur and experience no pain at all. The heel spur is probably not the source of the pain. The inflammation of the tissue underneath the foot (the plantar fascia) is more likely to be the problem.

Heel pain is not normal, and should be investigated by a podiatrist. Contact consult Sheldon H. Nadal, D.P.M. for your personal consultation to get an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan today.