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What Causes Heel Pain?

Have you ever taken your first step out of bed and all of the sudden experienced a sharp pain or discomfort in your foot? Heel pain is one of the most common foot problems that Americans experience. Usually the pain occurs under the heel or just behind it. This pain can be severe and disabling. So you may be asking, how did this happen to me?

Of all 26 bones in the human foot, the heel bone is the largest. Your heel is designed to provide support for the weight of your body. It absorbs the impact of your foot while walking or running, and springs us forward to our next stride. Did you know that the stress placed on a foot while walking could be up to 1.25 times your body weight? It can get up to 2.75 times while running! As you can tell, your heel is very vulnerable to damage and pain.

Heel pain isn’t always caused by a single injury; it’s usually the result of repetitive stress. There are many causes of heel pain. Here’s just a few:

  • Plantar fasciitis - this is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. The ligament runs from your heel bone to the tip of the foot. When it’s stretched too far, it becomes inflamed. 
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome - a large nerve in the back of the foot becomes pinched or compressed. This type of neuropathy can occur either in your ankle or your foot.
  • Achilles tendonitis - this chronic condition is associated with the Achilles tendon. The microscopic tears cannot heal or repair themselves, which causes improper function. Eventually the tendon weakens, thickens and causes pain.

If you’ve experienced any kind of heel pain, call Gentle Touch Foot Care at (973) 673-FOOT, or visit our website. Drs. Theall and Sammy are always ready to help! Remember, you don’t have to live with heel pain. Take the right step forward, and schedule an appointment today!

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