Heel Pain

Heel pain is among the most common foot problem affecting people of all ages. Of the 26 bones on each foot, the largest is the heel bone. The heel is the first part of the foot that makes contact during walking so it is not surprising that the heel is subject to undue stress. This stress can be due to  injury, bruising from walking, running, jumping, or other activities, wearing improper footwear, and sometimes because of excess body weight.

Heel pain is usually the result of problems in foot biomechanics. Generally, the foot acts as a shock absorber, absorbing the weight of the body and the arch of the foot flattens. The flexor digitorum brevis muscles and the plantar fascia stabilizes the foot and maintains the arch muscles. Pain and inflammation in the surrounding area of the heel can be because of gait abnormalities.

Although any age group can be affected, pain in the heels is commonly found in people above the age of 40. Those who are overweight and those who wear improper footwear are also especially prone to heel pain.



Some of the most common signs and symptoms of heel pain are:

  •     Pain while walking on the affected foot
  •     Pain after performing strenuous physical activities with no relief even after rest
  •     Heel pain that persists overnight or at times even for days
  •     Signs of swelling on the affected area
  •     Loss of color and bruising behind the heel
  •     in some cases, infections can occur

The diagnosis for heel pain may involve a thorough history of symptoms, physical examination, and imaging tests such as x-rays or ultrasound. Once a diagnosis is made regarding the cause of heel pain, a treatment plan can then be implemented.


 

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