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The Causes of Heel Pain

One of the most common problems that people have with their feet is heel pain. Normally the pain will be felt directly under the heel (plantar fasciitis) or right behind it (Achilles tendinitis). While the pain can be excruciating and occasionally even debilitating, rarely does it become a threat to the health of the sufferer. More often the pain is mild and will go away by itself. However, there are some cases where the pain does not go away and instead becomes chronic. With all of the stress your heels are put through on a daily basis it is easy to see why it’s so vulnerable to pain and damage. The most common causes of heel pain are listed below:

  • Heel bursitis: This inflammation at the rear of the heel can be caused by footwear pressure, or by landing heavily or awkwardly on the heel. Pain that is felt either at the back of the heel or deep inside will typically get worse as the day progresses.
  • Plantar fasciitis: The plantar fascia is a ligament running between the tip of the foot and the heel bone. When it stretches too much the result is inflammation and pain. Sometimes it can happen in the middle of the foot as well.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome: This is a form of compression neuropathy that can occur when the nerve becomes pinched in the back of the foot. It can also happen in the ankle.
  • Achilles tendonitis: This is a chronic condition that begins with the degeneration of the Achilles tendon. There can be tears inside the tendon itself, resulting in poor function. Over time this will cause a thickening of the tendon, weakening it even further and is followed by pain.
  • Heel bumps: Found most often in teenagers, too much bone is formed when the immature heel bone rubs excessively. Flat feet are one cause, and the wearing of high heels at too young an age is another.
  • Stress fracture: It takes repetitive stress to cause a stress fracture. Most at risk are those who do heavy physical work, are very active in sports, or who partake of strenuous exercise.

Heel pain isn’t fun for anyone, but knowing the causes can help with preventing any of the above predecessors. If you have any questions or chronic pain in your feet, give us a call!

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum is a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon serving patients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.

Do you have questions or concerns?

Call or email today for immediate 
answers to your questions.


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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