Inflamed Heel Pad & Tendon [Causes, Symptoms & Best Treatment]
An Inflamed Heel Pad & Tendon can result in morning pain, aching after resting and worsening chronic pain. This is the #1 cause of heel pain, FIX IT NOW!
- One of the top causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, this is damage to a ligament that holds your heel to your toes.
- 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 over pronated flatfoot, or an over supinated high arched foot.
- 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!
Inflamed Heel Pad & Tendon Overview:
- Chronic overuse of the bottom of the heel and the back of the heel is one of the single most common causes of foot pain in the world.
- An inflamed heel pad can be most likely the plantar fascia ligament as it inserts into the calcaneus bone, it can also be irritation of the plantar heel fat pad.
- It is also possible to have Achilles tendon insertion pain in the back of the calcaneus, this can cause back of the heel inflammation and pain.
- In some people it is also possible to have a calcaneal stress fracture, which is a bone injury to the actual heel bone itself.
The most common symptoms of an inflamed heel pain and back of heel tendon pain include:
- Numbness burning and tingling in the heel.
- Sore achy throbbing in the heel that gets worse while standing during the day.
- Pain in the morning when you wake up.
- Delayed onset muscle soreness after resting for a long period of time.
- Pain after getting up and moving while sitting on the couch.
- Pain while driving in the heel.
- Worsening pain as you stand during the day on hard surfaces.
- Worsening pain while standing barefoot.
- Worsening pain with poorly supporting shooes.
- Relief with orthotics.
- Plantar fasciitis is the single most common cause of foot pain.
- The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot connecting your heel to the area over your toes.
- People with plantar fasciitis experience pain across the bottom of their foot usually in the mornings and after strenuous exercises like going for a jog.
- You might even have heel pain while simply pushing at the bottom of your heel while sitting in place with your thumb.
- The real key to plantar fasciitis is to decrease the swelling and inflammation. It does not make sense to start stretching exercising and beating up on an already damaged muscle.
- You have to think about this like a broken ankle, you wouldn’t exercise or stretch a broken ankle, it does need to rest to a certain degree.
- Just applying a cream or taking a medication will not make it better in one day, it can take weeks!
- There is physical damage to this band of tissue, it does need time to heal and you need to do all the right types of stuff to keep pressure off.
- The secret is to find out how to keep moving while avoiding this type of pain.
- Read the end of this guide to see just how to do that.
- They Achilles tendon and is the biggest tendon in your body.
- The gastrocnemius is the large calf muscle that attaches to the Achilles tendon.
- As people get older and less elastic, the Achilles tendon can become very irritated, inflamed and painful as it inserts into the back of a heel.
- This can rate me into the calcaneus heel bone and cause significant pain and tenderness.
- If the pain appeared very quickly after a traumatic incident such as landing in an awkward position during basketball or after coming down from a ladder and you have a bump like this; it is also possible that you may have damaged your achilles tendon.
- This may be a partial or a full rupture and you would have to see your podiatrist to have this taken care of.
- Another name for the heel bone is called the calcaneus.
- This is a bone that holds the insertion for both Achilles tendon in the plantar fascia ligaments.
- A reasonable way to tell if you have a calcaneal stress fracture is to perform a calcaneal heel stress test by squeezing the calcaneus.
- Squeezing the calcaneus from side to side is more likely to cause pain then planer fasciitis which occurs from the bottom, or the Achilles tendon insertion which occurs from the back and from the Achilles tendon.
- This can be a more serious problem than the ligamentous injuries. Although it’s not ideal to have any of these.
- It is also possible to have a problem with the plantar fat pad of the heel
- If you are suffering from just bursitis and there is no excess bone formation (this can be confirmed with an Xray).
- Then you should continue with conservative therapy or even consider the potential that something else may be causing the pain
The last line of treatment before surgery should include maximum immobilization through casting or wearing a CAM boot, injecting around the bursa but not into the Achilles tendon, using an analgesic through iontophoresis.
- Continue initial treatments – described in stage 1 of the home treatment guide.
- Inject the bursa or the eminence -Avoid corticosteroid injections into the Achilles tendon, but studies have shown that injections into the bursa guided through ultrasonography have been shown to be beneficial.
- Iontophoresis– aka electromotive drug administration. This can be thought of as an injection without a needle; a small current is applied to trans-dermally move an ingredient and a solvent through the skin.
- CAM Walker– This is the penultimate last step to prevent motion and decrease inflammation, the boot is to be worn at all times except when showering and resting.
- Cast – This is the ultimate last step to prevent motion and attempt to decrease inflammation
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: