complications of ankle injuries

« Back to Home

What Is Causing Your Heel Pain And How To Prevent It

Posted on

Heel issues are not only annoying -- they can actually be quite painful! Irritating heel conditions can seem to strike you out of nowhere, leaving you wincing in discomfort and eager to see your podiatrist. If you want to keep your heels from aching and burning, you need to find out the main reasons why they may be in pain to begin with. Here are some common causes for heel pain and how to prevent them.

Stress fracture

Athletes and people who jog or run for exercise commonly suffer from stress fractures. A stress fracture happens when you damage or bruise the bones, tendons, and muscles in and around your heel from repetitive motion. You are more likely to get a stress fracture if you:

  • wear ill-fitting shoes
  • run or jog on pavement or hard surfaces
  • are training more than usual

Your podiatrist can help you choose arch and heel supports and the right kind of shoes to give you the relief you need and help keep future stress fractures at bay.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

You've probably heard of carpal tunnel syndrome before, where pain in your wrist and/or fingers is caused by repetitive muscle movement such as typing or writing. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is the same thing, only it affects the heel and back of the foot instead. This painful and stinging condition is caused by ill-fitting footwear (such as heels or shoes that are too small) or by sitting and placing pressure on the feet for long periods of time. You can remedy this issue by wearing an ankle or heel brace to support your feet when sitting for long periods of time and wearing only shoes that fit comfortably on your feet. If you do find yourself wearing not-so-cozy shoes for an event or special occasion, make sure you carry a comfortable pair of tennis shoes with you to change into when the stinging begins.

Your podiatrist can examine your toe and heel alignment as well as other factors to see what else may be causing your heel pain. They may want to take X-rays or bend your feet to see if you have tight tendons or weak muscles that are causing your aches and pains. Document when your heel pain starts and try wearing more comfortable shoes. Report all issues with your heels to your podiatrist. This way, you can better keep your future heel pain at bay. If you don't yet have a podiatrist, consider someone from a company like ETL Podiatry.