What Causes Pain Behind The Heel
Several problems can cause pain to develop in the back of the heel:
- Achilles tendinitis: The Achilles tendon is a fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Its the bodys longest and strongest tendon. Runners and basketball players are more prone to Achilles tendinitis. This overuse injury inflames the tendon. Tendonitis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the back of the heel.
- Bursitis: Bursitis occurs when fluid-filled sacs called bursae swell. These sacs cushion joints, allowing for fluid movement. You may have a tender, bruise-like feeling in the back of the heel. Bursitis typically occurs after you spend a lot of time on your feet.
- Haglunds deformity: Chronic inflammation and irritation can cause an enlarged bony bump to form in the back of the heel. Shoes with higher heels, such as pumps, can make the bump and pain worse.
- Severs disease : Severs disease is a frequent cause of heel pain in active children between 8 and 14. Kids who participate in activities that require a lot of running and jumping are more prone to this problem. The increased athletic activity irritates the growth plate in the back of the heel.
What Can I Do To Relieve My Foot And Ankle Pain
Soft tissue takes time to heal, but there are a number of things you can do to help speed up the process:
- Exercises help to relieve pain by loosening up the soft tissues in your feet. Tightness in the Achilles tendon can often have a knock-on effect on the plantar fascia, so these areas are particularly important to target. Read on for a list of suggested exercises to ease your pain
- Resting your feet wherever possible by not running, walking or standing for too long can help to avoid any more inflammation
- Wearing comfortable shoes with good arch support will also reduce the strain on your feet
- Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can help to control the pain. Ibuprofen is also an anti-inflammatory meaning it will help to relieve any swelling. Taking these as tablets or using anti-inflammatory creams can both be helpful. Remember to not take more than the recommended dose
- Ice packs pressed against the bottom of the foot can help to reduce swelling. Do not apply ice directly to the skin instead, try wrapping the pack in a tea towel
How Is A Bruised Heel Diagnosed
You might not need to see a doctor for a diagnosis. This is because a bruised heel is often treatable at home. But if your heel pain doesnt improve with self-care measures, make an appointment with a foot specialist, called a podiatrist.
Your doctor will examine your foot and ankle. You may need an X-ray to check if your heel bone is broken. Your doctor might also check your gait, or the way you walk, to look for any issues that might have caused a bruised heel.
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Plantar Fascia Rolling Massage
This is also a decent heel pain exercise which will help in reducing inflammation along with loosening the foot muscles. Many sports brands sell foam rollers that massage the feet.
Here’s how to do a seated plantar fascia stretch:
- You can complete this exercise in either standing or seated position.
- Place one foot on a frozen water bottle or tennis ball. Using a frozen water bottle will help in reducing inflammation.
- Gently roll the water bottle or small ball to the back and front under your feet.
- Begin the movement from the ball to your feet and move towards your heel.
- Keep it rolling to the front and back.
- Repeat and continue on the other side.
Orthotics To Relieve Heel Pain: A Winning Combination
In our Spring, TX podiatry practice, we often prescribe custom foot orthotics to relieve heel pain. This medical device works well if flat feet or other biomechanical issues cause your heel pain. But how and why can they relieve heel pain?
Foot orthotics reduce pressure on your heel, evenly distributing the shock your feet absorb every time you walk or run. As such, orthotics can also help improve your feets biomechanics, reducing your risk of chronic or recurring plantar fasciitis.
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Suffering From Heel Pain Our Podiatrists Can Help
If you`re looking for a professional foot doctor, look no further than Dr. James M. Jacobs in Katy, TX with additional locations in Memorial/Galleria, Copperfield, Cypress, and West Houston. He`s helped many patients find relief from heel pain with a variety of treatments. Our foot doctors can customize, and mold arch supports that were designed for your feet!
Your Total Foot Care Specialist is a podiatry practice dedicated to providing comprehensive foot and ankle care for patients of all ages in Katy, TX. Dr. James M. Jacobs is a board-certified podiatrist who has been helping patients find relief from heel pain for over 30 years. Visit us at katyfootcare.com to schedule an appointment today to see how he can help you!
Frozen Water Bottle Rolls
Ice is an excellent tool in the fight against plantar fasciitis. It reduces pain and inflammation, and it can feel very refreshing on a hot summer day. The Juice Roll move is a dual-action one because it uses both ice and massage!
Massaging the plantar fascia can provide relief by stimulating blood flow to the area. Like stretching, it helps relax the muscles.
To do this cool move, youll need a frozen juice can or a frozen water bottle.
If its too cold for you to bear, you can wear socks to put a layer between you and the ice. If its still too much, try a tennis ball to massage and stretch the bottom of your foot.
- Intrinsic Muscles
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What About Kinesiology Tape
Some people prefer to use kinesiology tape. Unlike standard athletic tape, kinesiology tape works by gently pulling at your skin. This helps increase blood flow in the area and reduce swelling. It may even help shorten your recovery time.
It does, however, require a bit of skill to apply properly. Its best to see a physical therapist for a few sessions if youre interested in using the tape. They can show you how to apply it in the most effective way.
Before taping your feet, make sure theyre clean and dry.
Once youre ready, follow these steps:
Six Exercises For Plantar Fasciitis And Heel Pain
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes heel pain. It can affect people of all ages and abilities, but is more common among runners and people who spend a lot of time on their feet.
Research shows that both strengthening and stretching exercise programs, including stretching the Achilles tendon, can significantly reduce pain and improve walking in people with plantar fasciitis.
If youve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis or have heel pain, a physical therapist can design a treatment program for you. Treatment can include:
- Assessing how you walk and gait training.
- Instruction for when to apply ice for pain and inflammation.
- Temporary taping of your foot for short-term relief.
- Recommending shoe inserts, supportive footwear, or a night splint.
- Teaching you specific stretching and strengthening exercises.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
Here are six exercises from physical therapists that you can try at home.
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If You Have Heel Pain We Can Help
There are many causes of heel pain. The most common are plantar fasciitis, affecting the bottom of the heel, and Achilles tendinitis, affecting the back of the heel. Some other causes of heel pain are heel spurs, bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis, stress fractures, inflammation, bone conditions and more.
Its important to see your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and best treatment for your specific type of heel pain. The good news is, our podiatrists are experts in treating heel pain, and most of our therapies do not require any surgery.
Best Plantar Fasciitis Exercises
Plantar fasciitis is a foot disorder thats the most common cause of heel pain. Typically it can cause a stabbing pain in the underside of your foot near your heel.
The condition can usually be treated with some orthotic insoles and some exercises. Therefore we have comprised a list of the best plantar fasciitis exercises to stretch and strengthen your feet.
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Arch Building Foot Exercise
Being able to coordinate movement in your arch is a great way to boost lower body mechanics. This simple exercise can be harder than it looks if youre struggling with arch issues as is common with a heel spur.
- Sit in a chair and place your foot flat on the ground
- Keep your toes and heel firmly on the floor as you use your intrinsic foot muscles to lift the arch up higher
- If youre having trouble coordinating this small move, you can gently push your big toe into the ground to lift the arch
- Lift and lower the arch for 10 to 15 repetitions for 2 to 3 sets
As you learn to control the height of your arch, this will help you keep better form with standing activities like the next exercise below.
What Are The Complications Of Heel Pain
Heel pain can interfere with your ability to get around, work, exercise and complete daily tasks. When it hurts to move, you can become sedentary. An inactive lifestyle can lead to weight gain. You may also become depressed because you cant do the things you love.
Untreated Achilles tendonitis can cause the tendon to break down . In time, the Achilles tendon can tear or rupture. This problem may require surgery.
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What Is Heel Pain And Plantar Fascia
Heel pain is often caused by plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the plantar fascia. This tissue runs along the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is often caused by overuse or repetitive motions. It can also be brought on by sudden changes in activity, such as starting a new exercise routine. If you are overweight, this can also put extra strain on your feet and lead to heel pain. Treatment for plantar fasciitis often includes rest, ice, and over-the-counter medications. However, there are also some great stretches that you can do at home to help relieve heel pain.
Best Stretches For Heel Pain To Not Skip A Workout
It can be as simple as climbing out of bed one morning, putting your foot down on the floor, and feeling that sudden rush of foot pain. It can be in the middle of a morning run or during your favorite cycling class. But no matter when it takes place, nothing is more miserable than that awful, stabbing heel pain.
So, you go see a doctor, or you scour the internet for information on what you might have done wrong when you are trying to do everything right. You are nervous because, with heel pain like this, it might throw off your workout scheduleand you were doing so great. Or youre not even worried about the workoutthe problem is that you cant walk half a block without feeling the pain in the heel.
We get it. We know that pain. Its miserable. Go searching a little further, or ask your doctor, and youll hear the phrase plantar fasciitisthats the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the sole of your foot. The pain stabs at the bottom of the foot close to the heel but you know that.
So, what can be done to help you alleviate the pain so that you can get back to working out, and also ensure that the problem isnt going to pop up again when you least expect it. The key is to stretch the muscles in and around the foot and the ankle. The stretching will relieve the tension and that, in turn, will relieve the inflammation.
Exercises To Relieve Heel Pain
Heel pain. You know it as the sharp, stabbing sensation in the bottom of your foot. While you may eventually need surgery to completely get rid of your heel pain, there are lots of ways you can manage it conservatively in the comfort of your own home.
Our experienced and dedicated podiatry specialist,Dr. Kelly Geoghan, knows thatheel pain can strike at any moment and stay with you throughout the day. Thats why were sharing our top four favorite stretching exercises to relieve heel pain wherever, whenever.
Exercises To Avoid With Heel & Foot Pain
Technically, a heel spur wont go away with conservative treatment . However, the true problem with a heel spur is when it causes tissue aggravation and symptoms. If you have a heel spur you should avoid the most common causes of aggravation including:
- Spending long periods of time on your feet without a break. Try to take a break at least once an hour
- High impact activities such as jumping and running
- Completing any daily activity or exercises with poor lower body control and/or biomechanics.
- Wearing worn out shoes or flip flops for extended periods of time. Instead wear supportive shoes and/or orthotics
- Starting any exercise without warming up and stretching the foot first
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Are You At Risk For Plantar Fasciitis
If youre someone who is actively on their feet all day or someone who is spending a lot of time sitting at your desk, its understandable why you may suffer from plantar fasciitis. In fact, individuals who are highly active are at the greatest risk for plantar fasciitis, but sedentary individuals are also a high risk.
Some common risk factors include a highly active running regime, prolonged standing or sitting, decreased ankle range of motion, calf tightness, flat-footed, high-arched feet and obesity.
Exercises To Help Plantar Fasciitis
You can get pain relief for plantar fasciitis through stretches and exercises that strengthen this area of the foot. By loosening the plantar fascia ligament, you can help prevent further stress and inflammation that causes foot pain.
Toe Curls with a Towel
The first exercise for pain relief for plantar fasciitis you can try is toe curls with a towel.
Step 1: Put a small towel on the floor, and sit in a chair so that your feet are over the towel.
Step 2: Using your affected foot, scrunch your toes onto the towel and try to pull it toward you.
Step 3: Relax your toes and let the towel go. Repeat this motion 10 times, once or twice daily.
One of the best stretches for plantar fasciitis is the gastrocnemius stretch. This stretch is very simple and can be done anywhere with a wall to support you.
Step 1: Stand facing the wall, place your hands on it, and stretch your affected leg back. Both of your feet should be planted on the ground facing the wall. Your unaffected leg should be bent at the knee.
Step 2: Lean toward the wall so that you feel a stretch in the calf muscle of your back leg.
Step 3: Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then relax. Repeat it six times a day.
Tennis Ball Roll
For this exercise, youâll need a tennis ball or another small ball of similar size. If you donât have a ball handy, you can use a water bottle or other cylindrical object instead.
Step 1: Sit in a chair and place the ball under your affected foot.
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Foot Pain Relief Self
The next exercise for foot pain relief is a type of self-massage exercise in which you have to use a tennis ball. Simply keep the tennis ball under your foot and roll it back and forth. You would feel a nice massage effect on the sole of the foot, do it for as much as you can. Rub it all around the painful region.
With this, your stiffness will also be removed and in a way, there will also be self-massage if you have pain in both legs. Do it in this way on both legs. Do this as much as you can, there is no limit to this, you will definitely do it for at least 2 to 5 minutes in a session.
Getting To The Bottom Of Your Heel Pain
Your heel is a complicated structure in your body. A series of nerves, bones, tendons, and ligaments all come together at your heel and are responsible for supporting your legs and ankles and propelling your steps.
Considering the amount of weight and impact your heels endure every day, its no surprise that heel pain has many possible causes.
Some of the most common culprits behind heel pain are:
- Severs disease
Dr. Geoghan also provides you with pain-relieving tools and strategies like stretching exercises. Gently stretching the muscles in your lower leg and the tendons in your feet helps to relieve tension and reduce pain.
Here are the four best stretching exercises to do when your heel is hurting.
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