Plantar FasciitisPlantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is characterized by pain and degeneration of the plantar fascia, a thin band of tissue that connects the heel to the remainder of the foot and toes and supports the arch of the foot. When the plantar fascia degenerates, it weakens and causes the bottom of the foot and heel to hurt after long periods of rest or during physical activity. This disease may also cause pain at the instep or arch. Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pains that can come and go throughout the day depending on activity level and is worse in the morning when first getting out of bed (or after extended periods of resting). Often, plantar fasciitis causes constant pain as the heel is constantly under stress and load.
Heel SpursHeel spurs, a common cause of heel pain, are calcium deposits that create a bony protrusion or spur, on the underside of the heel bone. Heel spurs may be painless depending on their size, but often occur with heel pain and are often associated with plantar fasciitis. Recent studies have shown that the pain intensity is proportional to the size of the spur.
Heel BursitisHeel bursitis, both retrocalcaneal and retro achilleas, are common types of bursitis and can hurt in the foot just above the heel. Bursitis of the heel causes pain and swelling when the bursae at the back of the heel become irritated or inflamed. Because of the symptoms, heel bursitis is often confused with problems in the Achilles tendon which connects to the back of the heel. Difficulties with the Achilles tendon can cause bursitis in cases where repeat irritation and stretching occur at the tendon. However, bursitis may happen with an entirely normal tendon.
Achilles TendonosisMore commonly referred to as tendonitis, Achilles tendinosis is a chronic condition associated with the degeneration of the Achilles tendon and is a common cause of heel pain. In some cases, microscopic tears appear in the Achilles tendon over time and create issues with the tendon’s functionality. These tears develop when the tendon is put under more stress and tension than it can handle, and is unable to repair itself properly. Over an extended period of time, the tendon can weaken, causing pain around the heel where the tendon attaches to the foot. Tendinosis consists of a breakdown of individual parts of the muscle. Most of the tendon’s integrity and function remains, but pain ensues. The degeneration causes the release of painful proteins and inflammatory substances.
Stress FracturesStress fractures are often a cause of heel pain and occur through repetitive stress from activities like strenuous exercise or sports. Athletes, including runners, are prone to stress fractures due to the frequency and amount of stress placed on their feet and heels during repeat activity. Those with abnormal bone, such as osteoporotic or those with renal failure, may develop stress fractures during completely normal activities. Stress fractures often hurt during activity only in the early stages. Later, as the fracture matures, it is painful before, during and after activity.
Have you been dealing with heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis or any of these other conditions? Try out The Healing Sole and experience pain relief that actually works!