Calcaneus Foot Pain [Causes, Symptoms & Best Treatment!]
Calcaneus foot pain can result in terrible pain: Learn the 100% best way to get rid of your calcaneus foot pain through this treatment guide!
Calcaneus Heel Pain Causes:
Heel Pain Causes: Picture & Photo Gallery
- One of the top causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This is damage to a ligament that holds your heel to your toes.
- Another root cause of heel pain has flat feet.
- There are also photos of heel spurs that can occur to the bottom of your heel (plantar fascia insertion) and the back of your heel (Achilles tendon insertion).
- Baxter’s nerve entrapment can also happen at the bottom of the heel.
- An underlying cause is an overpronated flatfoot or an over a supinated high arched foot.
- A plantar fibroma is a thick nodule that can occur within your plantar fascia ligament and contribute to plantar fasciitis.
- This can lead to the formation of a heel stress fracture( AKA calcaneus stress fracture.)
Please click on the gallery for a guided tour through heel pain conditions!
Most Common Calcaneus Heel Pain Causes:
- The number one source of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This is most likely felt at the bottom of the heel.
- The second most common cause of heel pain is Achilles tendinitis insertional pain, this is felt most commonly at the back of the heel.
- A calcaneal stress fracture is also very common, and this is most common when you squeeze the bone from side to side and there is radiating pain.
- These are three less common heel pain causes, but nonetheless they should be taken seriously!
- The treatment guide is included below.
Less common causes:
- Below are included the next most common causes of calcaneal heel pain.
- We strongly recommend looking at the three links above as these are the three most common causes.
- Nonetheless all six common causes are well treated by the guide below.
1) Calcaneus Pain due to Nerve Pain:
What to look for:
- Radiation of pain.
- Sensory problems.
- Numbness, burning or tingling.
- Pain is worst at night.
- Neurologic heel pain is usually due to an irritated or an entrapped nerve through a region that is prone to constriction and tightness such as the ankle joint or in the back where the nerve exits the spine. This type of pain may easily mimic plantar fasciitis (painful bottom of the heel) or back of the heel pain (Achilles tendinopathy) or inside of the ankle pain.
- This type of pain usually manifests itself as numbness, tingling or burning pain rather than the aching sore pain that is experienced with muscle soreness.
- The type of nerve pain originating around the ankle joint is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome which is essential the equivalent of carpal tunnel syndrome that is found in the wrist.
- Nerve pain can also occur much earlier and closer to the spine and can be associated with back pain or injury. If you have recently injured your back or have had back pain, a slipped disc or anything like that, then you should suspect what is known as radiculopathy (nerve pain originating from the nerve root in the spine)
- It is also possible to have the nerve irritated in both the back and in the ankle.
- Nerves may also be irritated due to obesity, venous problems (swollen varicose veins), trauma, and space occupying masses.
- Nerve pain can also occur due to systemic disease such as diabetes, nutritional or vitamin deficiencies or alcoholism.
- Tests for neurologic nerve pain include electromyography, nerve conduction velocity, MRI and pressure specified sensory device testing which can be done by your podiatrist.
Nerve Pain Treatment:
- Release of the nerve entrapment either at the back or around the ankle and plantar fascia.
- Nerve release of the tarsal tunnel to prevent tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- Medical treatment of peripheral neuropathy through medications.
2)Inflammatory Arthritis Calcaneus Pain:
What to look for:
- History of being diagnosed with arthritis.
- Many other joints are painful and swollen.
- Obvious previous joint pain.
- Almost all cases of heel pain are at least partially mechanically related and will respond to the following recommended therapy, even if inflammatory arthritis is present, but it is good know if any additional modifications can be made to the treatment regimen.
- Keep in mind the possibility of:
- Serognegative arthritides like psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter’s disease, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and previous cases of gout.
- Evaluation for these arthritides would require x-ray and laboratory testing by your podiatrist.
Inflammatory Arthritis Treatment:
-Consult with a rheumatological specialist
3)Traumatic Calcaneus Pain:
What to look for:
- History of trauma
- Severe pain with compression
- Pain that gets worse with activity
- Rather than better with activity
- While biomechanical damage over time is the most common form of soft tissue injury to the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon around the heel, a traumatic injury to the heel bone itself is the most common cause of a bone injury in the heel region.
- The main thing is recognizing that a high impact fall can translate into the ankle or the mid-foot as spread out pain that is not localized, or it could even have injured your back and compressed nerves that are leading down to your foot and ankle.
- It is important to diagnose this type of pain because over time as you think that it will get better, the small little fragments will develop into arthritis and inhibit joint motion permanently.
Traumatic Calcaneus Pain Treatment.
- Get it diagnosed properly with history and X-rays
- Immobilization will likely be needed to prevent the development of arthritis
- Surgery may be necessary to excise broken bone fragments or re-attach pieces if they are large enough or serious enough
Best Heel Pain Products:
- There are usually two phases to treating plantar fasciitis pain.
- The two phases of treatment include controlling the acute inflammation, and correcting the biomechanics which led to the problem in the first place.
- If the tendons and ligaments are inflamed, they are almost frozen in place and cannot function properly.
- Once the inflammation is decreased, we need to correct the bio-mechanical causes to ensure that they can never become over worked and inflamed again!
- This doesn’t matter whether it’s plantar fasciitis, plantar fibroma, sore bottom of foot, or even Achilles tendon pain. Treatment is all roughly very similar.
Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis Inflammation:
Massage & Ice Products:
- Ice is the an excellent option that can be safe for almost everyone.
- There is some debate whether icing is worth doing, but for chronic pain this can help limit the need for medications and keep your options open.
- This works great for your arch, less for the ball of the foot.
- The more muscle and ligament tissue there is, the better ice will work there.
Menthol Based Gels:
- Biofreeze is one of our favorites.
- These gels have been studied to work 2x as long as ice.
- This works great for the ball of the foot.
- This can be very effective for bottom of the heel and Achilles tendon sore regions.
- These can work great for loosening your muscles.
- This allows less tightness and pressure on the ball of your foot.
- This is very effective for the arch, the gastrocnemius or calf muscle and for the hamstring and thigh muscles.
- This also works very well for the gluteus muscles if you are having butt cheek or hip pain.
Remove the Plantar Fascia or Achilles Tendon Stress:
- The key is to prevent future pain.
- This means keeping you active while keeping stress off of your plantar fascia tendon. This will prevent future re-injury and development of plantar fasciitis.
- If you can get rid of the pain and swelling, this will let you start walking normally.
- If you can walk normally, the vast majority of your pain should gradually start to go away.
- The best way to ensure that your plantar fascia, foot and ankle ligaments are not overworked is to support them.
- The best way to support them is to use great orthotics and great shoes.
- Some people may also need to rely on supportive ankle braces and other supportive modalities.
The Best Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis Shoes:
- Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will make sure that there is pressure removed from the heel and plantar fascia region.
- This is especially important if you have plantar fasciitis, heel spur pain or Achilles tendonitis.
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for best pain relief!
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.
Best Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics:
- These are our recommended orthotics for plantar fasciitis.
- Custom orthotics can work very well, but they should not be a first line of treatment.
- There are different types for different shoes.
- Women’s shoes usually need a less bulky orthotic, but allow for less correction.
- A full length orthotic requires a running shoe, boot or comfortable walking/dress shoe.
- We recommend doing everything you can to get a good supportive shoe that can fit a full length orthotic.
- This is the best way to maximize your orthotics for great results.
Best Full Length Orthotics:
- These will only work in wider shoes or a good supportive running shoe.
- This will not work in sandals, flats or most women’s dress shoes.
Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:
- These are a great choice for dress orthotics.
Best 3/4 Length Orthotics:
- These are great options for women’s dress shoes and thinner shoes.
- These are not the most supportive pair of orthotics.
Get A Great Dynamic Stretch:
- It is possible to stretch on your own, but these products can also really help!
- This will take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- We personally prefer this method of stretching.
Get A Great Static Stretch:
- These devices are great for stretching while you are resting.
- This will also help take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- This works great for plantar fasciitis.
- It can be used while watching TV or at night time.
Best Heel Compression Brace:
- A good compression brace can stabilize your foot from turning outward.
- This prevents your foot from pronated.
- Pronated foot will turn your foot outward in your foot will rub on the outside of the shoe.
- For many of her patients this has solved their pain and is very comfortable to wear inside your shoe.
- This solves both pain and outward pronation for a relatively low cost.
Best Heel Stability Brace:
- Stability brace goes little bit further than the compression brace to stop your foot from turning out.
- This takes pressure off of your heel and plantar fascia.
- At the same time this is a little bit bulkier and does not affect every shoe.
- We find people are little bit happier trying the compression brace before the stability brace.
- If you think you might have a broken heel, a calcaneal stress fracture or something of similar severity, these products might help!
- Always remember to see a foot and ankle specialist like a podiatrist if you are having plantar fasciitis or more severe pain!
Plantar Fascia Tear, Broken Heel Bone, Achilles Tendon Tear:
- If you have a traumatic injury such as a torn plantar fascia ligament, calcaneus stress fracture, heel fracture or insertional Achilles tendon injury: consider protecting your foot!
- The best way to do this is of course to see your podiatrist and get evaluated with an x-ray, ultrasound and potentially even an MRI or CT scan.
- If you are unable to do so it may benefit you to be in a cast, fractured boot, or even keep the weight off of it with a rolling knee scooter or other protective devices.
- We as podiatrists frequently take patients off work for very long period of time when they suffer a traumatic injury, unfortunately there is no other way around us in labor jobs.
- If you have a sit down job there are ways to get people back to work quicker, but this can be very difficult otherwise.
Heel Injury Boot Treatment:
- There are pros and cons to using a boot to treat your heel injury. If you are immobilized too long the cons are that you will gradually become stiff and overworked to your other leg. The Pros are that you injured heel will hopefully have a chance to gradually heal!
- Our favorite fracture boots and their supplies:
Offloading and Scooter treatment:
- These are favorite knee scooters and walking devices: