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Common Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain can result from several different factors and issues. A traumatic injury on the heel of the foot may not be the cause of most heel pain. It can usually be because of repetitive stress or pounding placed on the foot. This can lead to strain on the bones, muscles, and ligaments throughout the foot that can cause several different conditions that trigger heel pain.

Common Causes of Heel Pain

  1. Plantar fasciitis: This painful condition mainly occurs when the connective tissue between the heel bone and the sole becomes inflamed, causing different levels of pain. The pain is usually the worst in the morning, due to an accumulation of stiffness. Flat feet, repeatedly running on hard or even surfaces, or wearing shoes that don’t cushion the soles can make you more prone to plantar fasciitis.
  2. Bursitis: Constant overexertion can cause bursitis – this is inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs between the tendons and bone. Bursitis can cause pain, tenderness, and swelling around the heel bone. Unlike plantar fasciitis, the pain doesn’t waver, and can result in chronic swelling and tenderness on the back of the foot.
  3. Achilles tendinitis: If the Achilles tendon is overexerted, whether it is due to running, basketball or other high impact activities, the tendon can become inflamed, causing pain and swelling. This condition is called Achilles tendinitis, or inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Its symptoms include warmth, swelling, and increased heel pain while walking or running.
  4. Stress fracture: Running or jumping on hard surfaces can put unnecessary stress on your bones, causing a painful stress fracture. Over time, this can lead to gradual pain around the heel bone.
  5. Tarsal tunnel syndrome: When the nerve inside the tarsal tunnel is compressed, it can lead to a chronic, painful condition called tarsal tunnel syndrome. You’ll know you are suffering from this because it causes a burning and tingling sensation on the bottom of the foot.

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