The culprit “line up” is a common scene in crime shows and movies. Suspects line up at a police station and a witness behind glass identifies one of them as the perpetrator of some crime. It’s not that easy to catch some problems, of course, particularly health and foot issues, like heel pain. It would be nice if you could just line up all the top causes of sore heels and pick out which one is causing so much trouble for you—and there are a lot of them.
Heel pain is a general term that includes a number of specific conditions that affect your heel in uncomfortable and damaging ways. Often times these conditions are similar, or even related, but impact your heels differently. Here are the most common culprits for uncomfortable heels:
- Plantar Fasciitis – The most common source of pain under your heel, this is a problem with swelling, thickening, and tightening in your plantar fascia ligament. This ligament attaches to the bottom of your heel and pulls there painfully when you put pressure on your foot.
- Achilles Tendon Issues – An inflamed or degenerating Achilles tendon can create pain at the back of your heel, particularly when you try to push off the ground.
- Haglund’s Deformity – This red bump on the back of your heel gets aggravated and enlarged by the stiff backs of shoes.
- Bursitis – This is a problem with inflammation in a small, fluid-filled sac that protects your Achilles from your heel bone.
- Stress Fractures – Too many repetitive impacts or too much hard pressure can actually crack your heel.
These are by no means the only sources of painful heels, of course. Arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and other, rarer conditions can all contribute to discomfort in the back of your foot.
While you certainly can’t “line up” all these culprits in a literal line to identify the source of your discomfort, specialists like our team at Advanced Foot and Ankle can diagnose the problem and make sure you get the treatment you need. Don’t settle for living with your pain. Take care of it today and restore your feet to health—particularly before anything gets worse! You can reach our offices in Twin Falls and Burley, ID, through our website or by calling us directly: (208)-731-6321 for Twin Falls, or (208)-312-4646 for Burley.