What Causes Heel Pain When Walking?
The most common cause for heel pain when walking is Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a fibrous band that connects your heel bone to your toes. As you walk, this causes pressure and strain to the plantar fascia, as well as to the connecting areas, creating inflammation and other issues. The constant pull to the heel bone can create a bone spur over several years. Imagine a spike on the end of your heel bone to your toes, now take a step. That spike digs right into that the connecting plantar fascia causing your pain.
If the pain your experiencing is more on the back of your heel, that would be Achilles tendinitis. Just like the plantar fascia connecting to the heel bone, your Achilles tendon connects to your heel bone but in the back. You can also develop heel spurs from this tendon over the years.
Of course there are many other reasons one would feel heel pain when walking such as arthritis, thick callous formations, fractures etc.
- Plantar Fasciits
- Achillies Tendinitis
- Thick Callous
Symptoms for Heel Pain
Obviously, the most common symptom would be heel pain, however, the pain can vary depending severity of the situation. Other symptoms could include tightness in calf muscle and connective tissues to the heel. It is also common to have redness as well as swelling the the effected area. If you experience pain in your foot it is highly recommended to contact your podiatrist to ensure the fastest and quickest route possible to resolve the situation.
- Severe pain
- Pain suddenly starts
- Unable to walk from pain
Treatment for Heel Pain
By stretching out your calf muscles, the connective tissues in your heel will loosen, relieving tension. You will find by freezing a water bottle and rolling it on the bottom of your foot for fifteen minutes, three times a day along with stretching will greatly help relieve heel pain. If the pain continues, your podiatrist has many other solutions. Using either topical anti inflammatory or taking medication can also help with the pain. Another tool that can be used is call a night splint. This is a boot that is meant to be worn while you are resting. This tool stretches out your connective tissues attached to your heel. Proper foot wear is also very important to maintain your foot structure. As we step, the arch in our foot collapses causing strain. By wearing supporting shoes or inserts, you will dramatically help prevent foot pain. There are over-the-counter orthotics/arch supports that fit in most shoes. Depending on your insurance, there are also custom orthotics that can be made for your feet. If at home remedies and non surgical treatments do not work, the last treatment option recommended would be surgery. This wold be discussed between you and your podiatrist.
- Anti inflammatory medication
- Night splint
- Orthotics/Arch supports
When to Contact Your Doctor
It is very important to contact your doctor with any concerns or issues you may have as soon as possible. In doing so, you can prevent permanent damage and resolve the issue quickly and efficiently.