Heel pain is one of the most reported foot problems and the reason why so many Americans visit the doctor every year. People usually come in with pain centralized under their heel or behind it. The heel is the largest bone in the foot. It also acts as the primary support for the weight of the body. As you walk or run, both heels absorb the full impact of your foot as you strike the ground. The stress constantly changes as you move. The force placed on your foot as you walk measures at about 1.25 times your body weight. This is drastically increased as you run to 2.75 times your weight. The constant stress makes your heel vulnerable to damage. The following conditions commonly develop over time due to stress and can be the cause of heel pain.
This condition is caused by inflammation in the back of the heel. This part of the foot is known as the bursa and is a fibrous sac full of fluid. The condition develops over time as you land awkwardly or forcefully on your heels. The shoes you wear can cause pressure that creates the environment for this condition to form. The pain is usually felt deep inside the heel or at the back.
Heel bumps are common among women, specifically young adults. Teenage girls who start to wear heels at a young age suffer from this condition because their heel bones aren’t fully formed. Heels and other shoes rub excessively against the heel, which causes an extra bone to form.
Placing constant pressure on the heel causes stress fractures. Intense exercise, athletic activity or work creates this kind of stress on the body. Runners are usually more likely to suffer from stress fractures in their metatarsal bones.
Achilles tendonitis is a chronic condition that is commonly associated with the degeneration of the Achilles tendon. The Tendon begins to break down because of small, microscopic tears that can't heal or repair correctly. The tendon is highly stressed, and this leads to pain in the heel.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. When the plantar fascia is stretched beyond its limits, the tissue becomes inflamed. The inflammation typically occurs in the heel bone. You’re likely to experience pain on the bottom of the foot, especially after being inactive for an extended period.
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