Heel pain is rarely considered a life threatening condition, but it can disrupt your life (and especially your exercise routine). Common causes of heel pain include:
- Posterior Calcaneal Exostosis, also known as “pump bump: is common among young women, and this abnormal bone growth is caused by the constant pressure applied to the heel, while wearing “pump” style shoes.
- Bursitis is an inflammation that directly affects joint movement. Heel bursitis is due to poorly cushioned footwear, and it will have a negative effect on a person’s posture.
- Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fibrous band of tissue (plantar fascia) becomes inflamed, tears, or is overburdened or overstretched. Although this can happen to anyone, it is very common among tennis and volleyball players; individuals who are obese and/or diabetic; pregnant women; and marathon runners. Plantar fasciitis can also be triggered by pushing a piece of furniture, an appliance or the wearing of poorly constructed footwear can all lead to this type of heel pain.
- Heel spurs usually develop when plantar fasciitis is left untreated. 10% of individuals that have heel spurs may not experience any discomfort, while the rest of the population, affected with heel spurs, will experience tenderness (under the heel) and pain (when attempting to walk). Specialized foot supports and/or corticosteroid shots may provide some pain relief.
- Bruising can occur on a person’s heel if they step on a sharp object, and this can be a cause of heel pain.
- Due to swollen veins or a fracture, compressed nerves may be the cause of discomfort and a tingling sensation in the heel. The underlying problem must be treated to expect any relief from heel pain.
- Achilles tendonitis may be caused by poor fitting shoes that continuously dig into the back of a person’s heel. It may also be caused by sports activities, (such as basketball) that required a lot of jumping. In some cases, Achilles tendonitis may be the cause of arthritis or gout. There is stiffness, soreness and swelling associated with this type of heel pain.
Other causes of heel pain may be due to bone tumors, tendinitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy or osteomyelitis.
More than 50% of U.S. citizens will experience some sort of heel pain during their life, but sadly only 20% will seek professional treatment. Visit Dr. Ken Lefkowitz and his friendly staff at their Doylestown office, in order to find relief of your heel pain.
It is time to call Dr. Lefkowitz, at 215-230-9707, if you have severe heel pain that lasts for more than 48 hours (especially when not standing or walking); or experience fever, numbness and/or swelling on and around the heel.
Besides a medical history, and specifics about your heel pain, you will be asked about the types of shoes you wear, your sport activities and any recent injuries). Dr. Lefkowitz will perform a physical examination of your feet and your gait (how your feet move while you walk). In addition, you may also require x-rays and further diagnostic testing.