Pain on the bottom or back of your heel it is not always indicative of a major problem since it can often be traced to something as simple as excess pressure from tightly fitting shoes. Removing the source of the rubbing by switching to softer shoes will solve the problem. But because heel pain can be caused by other issues that are much more serious, you should never ignore heel pain. Seek treatment for pain that doesn’t subside after a few days.
Some of the many causes of heel pain include the following:
- Heel calluses—The hard, dry skin that often occurs on the back and bottom of the heel can crack, allowing bacteria to enter and possibly causing an infection, especially in patients with diabetes. In severe cases, a heel fissure will open that can be very hard to treat without isolation and immobilization.
- Achilles tendonitis or rupture—The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body and performs the critical functions of allowing you to walk, run, and climb stairs. Injuring or tearing this tendon can cause intense pain and discomfort, and may sideline you for weeks at a time.
- Bone fracture—Breaking your heel bone is an injury that usually occurs on hard surfaces such as the basketball court or tennis court. Coming down hard on your foot after an overhead smash or after a lay-up can be stressful enough to cause a break to occur.
- Peripheral neuropathy—Numbness, pain, and tingling in the heel can be caused by peripheral neuropathy which is nerve damage brought on by high blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes.
- Gout—Uric acid crystallizing in the joints can also affect the heel, causing severe pain.
Many causes of heel pain have similar symptoms, so see your foot doctor to find out what is actually causing your heel pain. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.