Heel Hurting? It Could Be One Of These Conditions

Suffering from any kind of heel pain can be an uncomfortable situation. You can't even typically walk without some level of discomfort. Most people automatically think of plantar fasciitis when they think of heel pain, but that is not the only cause. Here are a few other reasons why you might be struggling with pain in your heel.


Believe it or not, arthritis may be to blame for the discomfort you're feeling in your heel. Sometimes arthritis pain can radiate out from the joint that's inflamed, making it feel as though the pain is coming from somewhere nearby, but not the joint. If you have arthritis in the joint between your heel and your ankle, that can radiate downward and feel like pain in your heel. If you've never been diagnosed with arthritis, your doctor can do an easy x-ray test to determine the condition of the joint and tell you if this is the source of your pain.

Fractured Heel Bone

Particularly common in runners, a fracture in your heel bone can cause significant pain when you are walking. Typically, fractures like this are stress fractures, which means they are the result of excessive use. If you are a runner and you've stepped up your training, whether for an event or just to reach a new personal best, you may have inadvertently caused a stress fracture in that heel.

Tarsal Tunnel

Although less widely known than carpal tunnel, tarsal tunnel is a similar condition, only it affects the nerve that runs through the foot. The nerve often becomes agitated because it's being flattened by tissue at the base of your foot. If this is the cause of your pain, you may notice that your arch is smaller or flatter than it used to be, the pain will get worse throughout the day, and the level of pain will typically be in direct relation to the amount of activity you've been doing.

Atrophy Due To Aging

As you age, certain pads of tissue in your body will begin to atrophy, or shrink. One of the most common areas for this to occur is the fat pad at the base of your heel. While it provides the necessary cushion to minimize discomfort throughout most of your adult life, when this pad starts to shrink, it will cause some level of pain whenever you spend too much time on your feet. If you are getting older and suspect this is the cause of your pain, you can easily counter the condition by placing insoles in your shoes that have additional padding at the heel.

If you have heel pain, contact a local clinic like Collier Podiatry PA for help.