The pain in the heel is a reality as common as annoying. Something that will surely have happened to you sometime. A throbbing pain that extends to the entire foot and that prevents us from moving normally … why is it? We explain below what are the main causes to take into account.
What origin can a heel pain have?
Habitually the pain in the heel can arise after a particular effort that we have made, some small accident or, simply to appear suddenly without we know very well the reason. And we must know that the heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones that make up the human foot, and that in turn has 33 joints . That is to say, it is a really sophisticated part, at the same time delicate, with its more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments. It is normal for your health and your integrity to be affected from time to time.
When the pain appears, it can be felt more in the front part or in the back of the heel itself, a suffering that affects the biomechanics of the steps when walking. The tension and the suffering may be due to a series of realities that we will now go into detail, pointing out before anything else, that it will always be your doctor who must give you the diagnosis.
It is undoubtedly the most frequent origin of heel pain. But what is really the spur ? It is a bone growth in the lower part of the heel bone, it is, so to speak, an extension of the bone of a few millimeters that causes a lot of pain. They usually arise after an excessive effort of the muscles and ligaments of the foot, which stretches the band of tissue that connects the heel and the anterior part of the foot, thus tearing the membrane covering the heel bone. And why does it happen? For a bad step, the misuse of some shoes, running improperly for a day, having improperly forced the foot, and even obesity. We must take this into account, and know that as a rule, pain in the heel almost always has this origin.
2. Plantar fasciitis
If your heel pain extends to the sole of your foot, then you are likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis . It arises when there is an inflammation of the band of fibrous connective tissue (fascia) that goes down the sole of the foot from the heel to the front of the foot. It arises when we have made a great effort, walk a lot, run, walk for too long with uncomfortable shoes …
The soft tissue fibers of our sole have been stretched too much or even broken, which is why so much pain appears. But another aspect to keep in mind is that sometimes, the spur is also associated with plantar fasciitis.
When we suffer from plantar fasciitis, rest only provides temporary relief. Most likely, the pain will reappear every time we stretch the heel . So it is essential that it is our doctor who gives us the guidelines and the treatment to follow. While as home remedies you can follow, do not forget, for example, that ice relieves pain, that massages with rosemary oil lower inflammation. Functional bandages also offer good results, as well as rolling a bottle of frozen water with our affected foot.
3. Excessive pronation
Excessive pronation may not sound like that. It happens when we walk in the wrong way. Keep in mind that when walking, the heel touches the ground first; the weight is transferred first to the outside of the foot, and then to the big toe . But when we bend the foot too much, that is, we bend the foot arch too much, we can create an abnormal amount of stretching and tension in the ligaments and tendons attached to the lower part of the heel bone. And keep in mind that this foot injury, if not corrected, can bring consequences in the knees and hip. If we do not take care of the way we walk our skeleton will be affected because there is an imbalance. Curious but true.
4. Other causes of heel pain:
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis: a very common and painful reality, the complex joints of the heel usually suffer very often in the presence of arthritis.
- Gout: the excess of uric acid in the body, can lead to inflammation not only of the big toe, but also of our heels. The annoyance is very incisive.
- Bursitis: You’ve probably heard of bursitis, it’s very similar to the spur, but in this case what grows abnormally is a nerve, it’s a neuroma that presses on this area of the foot and that has grown as we say, in a way little functional
- The deformity of Haglund: also very common. Do you know what it is? To the excessive use of high heels. It is an enlarged bone in the back of the heel bone, right in the Achilles tendon. It is very painful.
- The inflammation of the Achilles tendon: if you lead a very active life and usually practice a lot of sport for example, surely you have heard about this type of injury. The inflammation is called tendonitis of the Achilles tendon, and it happens when we put this part of the foot in tension on numerous occasions.
- The bony contusions : it is basically due to a blow. A bad step where you accidentally hit something, or you get a sudden impact. In this case you will not have problems in recognizing what is due. Remember that if it happens to you, the first thing you should do is put ice on the affected area.