What Is Heel Pain?
Heel pain is usually caused by plantar fasciitis involving inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Although Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain it may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, or nerve irritation. Since there are several potential causes, it is very important to have heel pain properly diagnosed by a podiatrist to distinguish between all the possibilities. The treatment plan best for you will be determined by the underlying source of your heel pain.
Heel pain due to plantar fasciitis is most commonly caused by a faulty structure of the foot. People who have problems with their arches, either high-arched feet or overly flat feet, are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
Wearing shoes with inadequate support on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is common in runners, and people who spend long hours on their feet. In addition, people who are overweight and women who are pregnant are at risk of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes a sharp stabbing pain on the bottom of the heel or in the arch of the foot that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position. Without treatment the pain can get increasingly worse over a period of months.