Heel Pain As Achilles Tendonitis
Heel pain may also present as Achilles tendonitis. Generally, there are two main areas where heel pain may occur. The first area is the bottom of the heel, which touches the floor taking the brunt of the body weight. The second area of the heel where pain may occur is the back of the heel. This area on the back of the heel is where the achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone. Sometimes this part on the back of the heel will be so painful that tennis shoes and sneakers will rub in this area and worsen the painful symptom.
Another area of pain here at the back of the heel can be from the achilles tendon itself. The tendon may become irritated by micro tears, blunt trauma, overuse, or from external rubbing creating what is known as achilles tendonitis. Wearing sneakers may be tolerable, but walking and running can be painful on the back of the leg, just above the heel along the tendon.
Heel Pain Is Never Normal
Heel or foot pain is never normal and should not be ignored. It could be something as simple as an overuse injury but it may also be the symptom of a condition requiring medical treatment, such as a stress fracture or ruptured tendon. Its important to consult with a heel pain podiatrist who has experience treating heel pain.
The 12 Most Common Causes Of Heel Pain In Adults
You May Like: Black Hills Orthopedic & Spine Center
Some Groups Are At Increased Risk Of Heel Pain
- Middle-aged men and women
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who are on their feet for long periods of time
- Children aged between eight and 13 years
- Women during pregnancy.
- Abnormal walking style , such as rolling the feet inwards
- Standing, running or jumping on hard surfaces
- Injury to the heel, such as stress fractures
- Certain disorders, including diabetes and arthritis.
Treatment For Pain In The Back Of The Ankle Above The Heel
Treatments for ankle pain vary depending on the cause and severity of your condition. With each of the three conditions outlined here, physical therapy is almost always a viable treatment option.
Physical therapists can use a variety of techniques to help reduce your ankle pain, improve your range of motion and prevent future pain. If you visit a physical therapist at Advent Physical Therapy, well customize your treatment to your personal needs using methods like:
- Therapeutic exercise
You May Like: How To Wrap Ankle For Support
Exercise And Physical Therapy
Exercises and stretches are designed to relax the tissues that surround the heel bone. Some simple exercises, performed in the morning and evening, often help patients feel better quickly.
For Achilles tendonitis, your healthcare provider may refer you to a physical therapist who uses a specialized exercise program called the Alfredson protocol, which focuses on strengthening the Achilles tendon with eccentric exercises. With these, the tendon is contracted as the supporting muscles are stretched.
How Can I Prevent Heel Pain
To prevent heel pain or keep pain from returning, its important to keep your foot and heel tendons flexible. You should stretch regularly and wear properly fitted, supportive shoes. Runners are especially prone to heel pain. You can prevent running injuries by covering fewer miles and running on softer surfaces.
You May Like: Next Generation Orthopedic And Spine Institute
Other Causes Of Pediatric Heel Pain Include Achilles Tendinitis And Fracture
Achilles tendinitis occurs when the tendon connecting the calf to the heel becomes inflamed. This typically happens after a sudden increase in activity, such as beginning a new sport. Achilles tendonitis treatment includes resting and elevating the foot as well as ice to relieve swelling. Dr. Jarman may also prescribe wrapping the foot to help support the Achilles tendon during activities.
Heel fractures andfoot fractures may occur due to acute injury or repeated stress. Theyre most common in children who play high-impact sports. Conservative treatment includes immobilizing the foot, rest, and medication to manage pain. Dr. Jarman may also prescribe physical therapy to return full function to the foot.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is the most common type of arthritis in children and teens. It can cause joint pain and inflammation in the hands, writsts, elbows, and even knees and feet. JIA used to be called juvenile arthritis but the term wasnt accurate since JIA is not a kid version of adult rheumatoid arthritis.
Medial Malleolar Stress Fracture
The medial malleolus is the bony bit on the inside of the ankle. A stress fracture of the medial malleolus can occur but is very rare2.
- It causes pain on the inside of the ankle which is exacerbated by activity, especially running and jumping activities.
- You will have specific point tenderness over the medial malleolus where the fracture is located.
- You may also be swelling, but not in all cases.
- If the stress fracture is in the early stages it may not show up on X-ray but a bone scan, CT scan, or MRI can confirm the diagnosis.
More on Medial malleolar stress fracture
Don’t Miss: Orthopedic Centers Of The Rockies
Pain On The Side Of My Heel
If there is pain on the side of my heel, it could be an injury or some medical condition. One challenge a person will face regarding such symptoms would be what it is.
Since many injuries and illnesses share similar signs figuring out what is wrong can be a challenge.
However, there is hope, so there is no need to become dismayed. There are ways to figure out what medical problem belongs to you. We will explain the process, which we hope will benefit you in every way.
Follow along so that you understand what you need to do.
The first step to eliminating the conditions that dont match your symptoms is to compare them. This method allows you to see what fits and doesnt.
Once you do this, you can focus on those left for reference. If only one remains, you know that must be the issue. If more than one remains, look at the treatments.
If the measures are identical, you can use that method to help with healing. If the treatments vary, use similar ones until you visit a doctor for a better review.
Now that we have explained the process, here are the issues that can cause pain on the side of your heel.
Foot & Ankle Fractures
A broken bone is also known as a fracture. There is a common misconception that a broken bone is worse than a fracture. In reality they are the same. There are many different types of fractures or breaks. A bone can be broken and the fragments can be out of position. We call this a displaced fracture.
Conversely, if they are in good alignment it’s called a non-displaced fracture. If a bone is broken and you can barely see it on an x-ray, it is a hairline fracture. Finally, if a bone is broken and one of the fragments has punctured the skin, we call this an open or compound fracture. Since open fractures can easily become infected immediate surgical management is required.
Broken bones are usually splinted initially to prevent bone movement and further damage to the soft tissues that surround them. If the fracture is displaced it may need to be set. In certain fractures, setting them can be difficult. In these types of fractures, surgery is also indicated. This will provide the best opportunity for healing.
Even though all of this sounds very scary, most fractures can be managed in a cast without going to the OR. Even simple fractures of the toes respond very well to this treatment. And yes, we do put casts on toes. Not the plaster or fiberglass most people think of. Instead, we use a mesh tape which holds the toe in place.
Don’t Miss: 15 Foot Portable Wheelchair Ramp
Diagnosis Of Heel Pain
- Medical history
- Physical examination, including examination of joints and muscles of the foot and leg
- Wear shoes that fit you properly with a firm fastening, such as laces.
- Choose shoes with shock-absorbent soles and supportive heels.
- Repair or throw out any shoes that have worn heels.
- Always warm up and cool down when exercising or playing sport include plenty of slow, sustained stretches.
- If necessary, your podiatrist will show you how to tape or strap your feet to help support the muscles and ligaments.
- Shoe inserts professionally fitted by your podiatrist can help support your feet in the long term.
Who Can Help My Foot Or Ankle Pain
There are trained healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosing and treating problems affecting the foot and lower leg.
Podiatrists are trained foot specialists, they used to be called chiropodists. They can offer you:
- advice on padding, dressings, specialist insoles, splints and supports
- advice about footwear and exercise
- small non-surgical procedures
- advice on medication
Different areas have different rules for who can be referred to an NHS podiatrist. Some only refer people if they have rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or peripheral arterial disease. Other authorities may have broader terms.
If you visit a podiatrist privately you will need to pay for your appointments and any treatment. However, they can refer you for some services, such as scans or x-rays, on the NHS.
You can find a private podiatrist by visiting:
Physiotherapists are trained to use movement, exercise, manual therapy, and advice to help get your foot and ankle moving again. They will show you exercises to practice at home to support your recovery.
In some areas you can self-refer to an NHS physiotherapist. Otherwise, your doctor will request an appointment for you.
You can see a physiotherapist privately, though you would have to pay for your treatment. To find a registered private physiotherapist visit the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Don’t Miss: Smoky Mountain Foot And Ankle
Nagging Pain Between Ankle And Heel
I don’t know much about the construction of my foot… so if this is covered elsewhere, I’m sorry….I’m 7 weeks into my barefoot transition. I have gone zero drop shoes for casual and work shoes and am running exclusively barefooted.Either during a run, just after, or 24 hours after, I have pain between my ankle and heel on the left foot exclusively. See pic, I have an arrow pointing at the source. Sometimes it even swells up a bit there. Zero pain whatsoever on right foot. Trying to figure out if this is just part of the transition or if it is an injury – whether I need to rest or just do what I can or switch to some shoes with a minimal drop or……?Thanks in advance for any help, I’m SO very happy to be running without knee and shin pain, don’t want to lose the opportunity to something minor….
- Likes Received:
I’ve had the same. It goes away in time. I put it down to TMTS
‘Bare’n FreeIf you can’t see the top, walkBarefoot, we’re almost always at peace. We’re gentle and tolerant with our fellow man. Stress and anxiety evaporate and grief itself seems bearable as long as our feet are free
Video: Exercises To Reduce Heel Pain
This video demonstrates exercises that can help reduce heel pain.
The exercises in this video are suitable for most people. They are general exercises only and are not aimed at treating any specific cause of pain or condition.
Get advice from a GP or health professional before trying it, especially if:
- you have any concerns about your health
- you are not sure if the exercises are suitable
- you have any pre-existing health problems or injuries, or any current symptoms
Stop the exercise immediately and get medical help if you feel any pain or feel unwell.
You May Like: Topricin Foot Pain Relief Cream
The Number 1 Cause Of Adult Heel Pain: Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is the most common source of heel pain in adults. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot and connects the toes to the heel.
The plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot and helps absorb the shock of impact when you walk or run. When you place too much tension on this tissue, it stretches and may become inflamed or even tear or rupture.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms And Treatment
Kris Ubach and Quim Roser/Getty Images
The tarsal tunnel is a space in the foot formed between bones and overlying fibrous tissue. Within the tarsal tunnel lies a nerve called the posterior tibial nerve, as well as arteries, veins, and tendons. The tarsal tunnel is walled on one side by sturdy bones, and on the other by tough fibrous tissue of the flexor retinaculum ligament. This tunnel has very limited space, and the hard surfaces aren’t flexible to allow more.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome results when the posterior tibial nerve is compressed within the tarsal tunnel. This condition is very similar, in the mechanism, to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist. Both of these conditions result when a nerve is pinched within a confined space.
The tarsal tunnel has little room to give. When space becomes tight, the tibial nerve is pinched.
Also Check: Des Moines Orthopedic Surgeons West Des Moines
Is Pain In The Back Of The Ankle Above The Heel Normal
Occasional soreness and tightness in the ankles can occur after physical activity, but ongoing and intense ankle pain are the signs of something more serious. Pain in the back of your ankle above the heel might not be normal if the pain is persistent and accompanied by other symptoms like swelling, sensitivity, grinding and clicking.
Take a look at the following conditions to become familiar with what might be causing pain in the back of your ankle above the heel, and find out what you can do to treat this pain.
Pain On The Foot’s Outer Edge
The outer edge of your foot, the fifth metatarsal bone, is a commonly broken bone in the foot. Pain, swelling, and bruising along the outer foot edge after an injury are symptoms. If you think you may have broken a bone, see a doctor and have an X-ray.
To treat it:
- Rest, ice, and elevate your foot.
- Donât walk on it.
- Ask your doctor if surgery is necessary.
- A cast may be necessary in some circumstances.
Read Also: Mens Slip On Ankle Boots
The Most Uncommon Cause Of Heel Pain: Plantar Bone Spurs
Long-term, repetitive straining of the ligaments that connect your heel to your toes can cause a bone spur to develop on your heel. And actually, these bony growths form as your foot tries to heal itself.
Plantar bone spurs are relatively common about one in 10 people have one. But only 5% experience foot pain because of bone spurs. If you have heel pain, its more likely from another condition, like plantar fasciitis. Many people with plantar fasciitis have plantar bone spurs.
Stop Your Heel Pain: Come See Us Today
Remember, if you are experiencing heel painor difficulty anywhere in a foot or anklethis is not normal. Its your bodys way of telling you theres a problem that needs to be addressed.
Fortunately, we can provide the care you need.
Our medical experts are ready to create a customized treatment plan and put your heel pain in the past, so contact Texas Foot and Ankle Center today. Either give our Dallas podiatrist office a call at or take advantage of our online form to connect with us and request your appointment right now.
Read Also: Mid Jersey Orthopedic Bridgewater Nj
Bursitis In The Foot Or Ankle
Bursitis causes pain and inflammation, commonly around hard-working joints such as in the big toe, ball of the foot, heel, or ankle. It can also affect any part of the body.
It is caused by swelling in a small pocket of fluid, known as a bursa, or bursae if more than one is affected. Normally these small pouches cushion and protect your bones, joints, and tendons from impact, rubbing or pressure.
However, repeated rubbing, friction, excessive pressure, or injury can cause the fluid inside to increase making the affected bursa inflamed and tender.
For example, you can get bursitis between your ankle and heel if you keep wearing shoes that rub, pinch, or press down on the area. Shoes that are too tight and high heels regularly cause bursitis.
It often appears as a red, painful, swollen lump. However, it can also cause general swelling that you only notice because of the pain, for instance on the bottom of your heel.
People with bunions or irritated joints can be prone to bursitis. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause bursitis, particularly in the ball of the foot.
The self-care tips recommended earlier should help relieve your pain and inflammation. However, instead of bandaging the area, try using adhesive padding on the swelling to protect it from further friction and pressure. Resting it on a cushion can also help.
If you find self-care treatments are not helping speak to a healthcare professional.