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6 Common Causes of Persistent Heel Pain

6 Common Causes of Persistent Heel Pain

Heel pain is one of the most common instances of persistent foot pain, and if you experience it, you understand how it can limit your mobility. If you’re experiencing heel pain, chances are, it is one of these six causes.

At Foot + Ankle Specialty Centers, with five locations throughout Arizona, we don’t want our patients to be held back from what they want to do. An issue causing heel pain should be diagnosed and treated so you can live the best life possible, free from pain.  

This is why Payam Sarraf, DPM, Kate Kennedy, DPM, Katy Statler, DPM, Andrew Goodeill, DPM, Christopher Van Damme, DPM, Amelia Harris, DPM, and Sina Safar, DPM, offer caring and informed treatment. Anyone experiencing persistent heel pain deserves to get the care to treat it. 

Heel pain 101 

The heel is a common place to experience pain. Many athletes have heel pain as well as people who are on their feet all day because of their job. Wearing tight shoes can cause heel pain. 

Pain can occur under or on the back of your heel. The location can inform our care team of the source of the issues. Your activities, work, and any previous injuries can also help us figure out what’s wrong. 

But the only way to know for sure what’s causing your heel pain is to make an appointment with our team. 

Here are six possible causes of your persistent heel pain:

1. Achilles tendonitis 

Achilles tendonitis is a problem that occurs due to overuse. The Achilles tendon runs down to your heel, and if you are constantly using it, it can become inflamed, causing persistent pain. Runners and people who play sports often experience this problem. The best treatment is rest and medication, although massage or a brace might be helpful in severe cases. 

2. Rheumatoid arthritis 

Rheumatoid arthritis is common and can affect many of the joints in your body. When you have arthritis in your heel, it will feel tender, painful, and stiff. The best treatments for arthritis are NSAIDs and gentle workouts for mild cases and custom orthotics, physical therapy, or lifestyle changes for the more severe cases. 

3. Plantar fasciitis 

Many people who work long hours on their feet develop plantar fasciitis, a condition where the tissue connecting the heel to the toes becomes inflamed. Usually, it can be treated with rest and over-the-counter medication, but some people need orthotics or injections to manage it.  

4. Bursitis 

Bursitis occurs when the sac filled with fluid between your Achilles tendon and your heel becomes inflamed. People who run in tight shoes or wear high heels often develop bursitis. The condition can become chronic, which could require orthotics or physical therapy.   

5. Heel spurs  

Heel spurs happen when a person who runs and jumps a lot (usually an athlete) or someone who constantly wears ill-fitting shoes develops a bone-like growth on the heel. If the behavior continues, the spurs can become painful. At that point, surgery is often the only treatment. 

6. Ankle sprain 

If you sprain your ankle, you need to rest and seek treatment from a podiatrist. Otherwise, the pain could spread around the ankle, including on the heel. Depending on how long you’ve gone without treatment, we might recommend different options for relief. 

Don’t ignore heel pain

The most essential thing we can tell you is to always listen to your body. If you’re experiencing pain, it’s better to find help now. Visit one of our five Arizona locations to seek long-term recovery from the cause of your heel pain.

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