How serious is your heel pain

Do you suffer from extreme pain in your feet, especially in the morning when you get out of your bed?

If yes, then you might be suffering from heel pain. An extremely common complaint to orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists, progressive aching in the heel can lead to sudden and frequent discomfort. A general term used for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, heel pain can significantly impact an individual's daily routine and lifestyle. .

Understanding Heel Pain.
Heel pain can be debilitating because major portion of the body weight falls on the heel while walking. Heel pain can come anytime in life from childhood to adulthood. It is more often seen in women, especially if they are diabetic. Typically the pain is worse when the patient takes the first few steps in the morning or when he or she walks after a period of rest. With continued walking, the pain tends to ease off. Most patients may show a heel spur on X-rays, which is an elongation of bone from the heel. However, this is a common finding but it has no bearing on the pain of planter fasciitis.

The why of Heel Pain. Heel pain is one of the most common forms of pain that has pinched every one of us at some point of time. There are 26 bones in the foot, of which the heel bone (Calcaneus) is the largest. The heel is designed to absorb our body weight pressure when we run or walk and therefore is susceptible to the most damage in the foot.

Treatment of Heel Pain.
Surgery is seldom required for treatment of this condition. Treatment usually consists of passive stretching of the heel, hot and cold fermentation of the foot, wearing silicon heel pads, ultrasonic therapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs such as Diclofenac or Etoricoxib. If none of these measures succeed, local infiltrations of steroids usually work in the relief of the pain. Plantar Fasciitis takes a long time to cure and can sometimes reoccur. As a result, although pain in the heel is common and often subsidizes in time, sometimes it can be chronic and it is important to understand what the cause of the pain is. Getting an X-ray is vital and consulting your orthopedic doctor is the first step.

Causes of Heel Pain.
The most common cause of heel pain and associated limping is plantar fasciitis; in this the pain results from inflammation in the origin of the muscles that form the heel pad. It is commonly bilateral, though one side may hurt more than the other. Posterior heel pain causes symptoms of pain behind the foot, rather than underneath. Posterior heel pain causes include Achilles tendonitis and retrocalcaneal bursitis. Achilles tendonitis is a chronic (long-term) condition associated with the progressive damage of the Achilles tendon, the tendon that connects to the heel bone. Retrocalcaneal bursitis is when the back of the heel bone under the Achilles tendon swells up causing pain especially while walking and running.

Heel Pain in Children?
It is possible! In children, heel pain can occur because of inflammation of the calcaneal tuberosity (back of the heel) known as Sever's disease. This is usually self-limiting; other causes include Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, arthritis of the joint between the heel bone and adjacent bones, stress fractures, and mal-united fractures of the heel. There can sometimes even be cysts and tumors in the heel bone and therefore, X-rays must always be taken in any patient presenting pain in the heel.

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