Pain Below Your Heel? What’s that Mean?

What is below the heel pain?

Foot pain and tenderness can occur on the bottom of the heel, as well as behind the heel. The most common below the heel pain condition is inflammation of the plantar fascia. Another condition that affects the bottom of the heel is a heel spur. Let’s take a look at these common types of below the heel pain.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain and is common in middle-aged people. It can also occur in younger ages who are on their feet a lot and can occur in one foot or both. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and supports the arch of the foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it will get weak, swollen and inflamed. When this happens, your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when standing or walking.

It can be caused by straining the ligament that supports the arch of the foot. The repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament, which can lead to pain and swelling. This is likely to happen if your feet roll inward too much when you walk, you have high arches or flat feet, you walk, stand or run for long periods of time, you are overweight, you wear shoes that don’t fit well or are worn out, and you have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis often includes rest, minimizing activities, icing the heel or taking over-the-counter pain reliever.

What is a heel spur?

A heel spur is a calcium deposit that causes a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. In an X-ray, a heel spur can extend forward by as much as half an inch. Without visible X-ray evidence, the condition is sometimes known as “heel spur syndrome.”

While heel spurs are often painless, they can still cause heel pain and are frequently associated with plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation of the fibrous band of connective tissue (plantar fascia) that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the ball of the foot.

Treatments for heel spurs and associated conditions include exercise, custom-made orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections. If conservative treatments fail, surgery may be necessary.

Contact us today at Central Massachusetts Foot Specialists Inc in Worcester, MA to learn more about heel pain, including plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.