You wake up in the morning, put your feet on the floor and feel a shooting pain in your heels. You know you’re hurting, but you don’t know why—right? Well, read on to find out the four most common causes of heel pain that I’ve seen in my Houston podiatry practice.
Plantar Fasciitis We all have a thick, fibrous band of connective tissue running from our heels to the balls of our feet that’s known as the plantar fascia. If the band is over-used or injured, it becomes inflamed and causes pain. If you’re an athlete or runner, are prone to wearing high heels or have recently put on weight, plantar fasciitis is a likely culprit in your heel pain.
Arch Height Whether your arch is high or low, its unique shape will affect the way you walk. A low arch can lead to pronation (feet roll inward as you walk) which can in turn lead to an overstretching of the ligaments and muscles attached to your heel bone. Much of this pain can be corrected with orthotic devices that are custom cast to fit your foot.
Overuse If your heels are constantly forced to bear the brunt of your body weight’s impact, as can happen with runners who repeatedly log double-and-triple-digit miles each week, the natural padding in your heels can get worn down and cause you to experience discomfort. Pregnancy and weight gain, as well as age, can lead to this problem as well.
Achilles Tendonitis The Achilles tendon sits in the back of your leg and connects to your heel bone, when it becomes inflamed, you’ll likely experience pain at the back of your heel at the point of connection instead of on the bottom of your foot. Achilles tendonitis is usually considered an overuse injury.
While these four issues are some of the most common causes of heel pain, other culprits, like fractures or sprains, may also manifest as heel pain. The best thing to do if you are experiencing frequent heel pain is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider so we can get to the root of the problem and offer you the most effective solution.