Heel pain usually affects the underside or back of your heel. Although heel pain is rarely a symptom of a serious condition, it can interfere with your normal activities, particularly exercise.
Common causes include:
Plantar fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia: The plantar fascia is a strong bowstring-like ligament that runs from the calcaneum (heel bone) to the tip of the foot. This type of pain often happens because of the way the foot is made, for example, if the arches are especially high or low.
When the plantar fascia is stretched too far, its soft tissue fibers become inflamed. This usually happens where it attaches to the heel bone, but sometimes it affects the middle of the foot. Pain is felt under the foot, especially after long periods of rest. Calf-muscle cramps may occur if the Achilles tendon tightens too.
Common factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis are:
- Shoes without adequate support
- Heavy work demands
- Abnormal foot mechanics (the way a person’s feet and ankle move to support the weight of our body).
Heel bursitis: Inflammation can occur at the back of the heel, in the bursa, a fibrous sac full of fluid. It can result from landing awkwardly or hard on the heels or from pressure from footwear. Pain may be felt deep inside the heel or at the back of the heel. Sometimes, the Achilles tendon may swell. As the day progresses, the pain usually gets worse.
Heel bumps: Also known as pump bumps, these are common in teenagers. The heel bone is not yet fully mature, and it rubs excessively, resulting in the formation of too much bone. It is often caused by having a flat foot. It can be caused by starting to wear high heels before the bone is fully mature.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome: A large nerve in the back of the foot becomes pinched or entrapped (compressed). This is a type of compression neuropathy that can occur either in the ankle or foot.
Chronic inflammation of the heel pad: This is caused either by the heel pad becoming too thin, or through heavy footsteps.
Stress fracture: This is linked to repetitive stress, strenuous exercise, sports, or heavy manual work. Runners are particularly prone to stress fracture in the metatarsal bones of the foot. It can also be caused by osteoporosis.
Severs disease (Calcaneal apophysitis): This is the most common cause of heel pain in child and teenage athletes, caused by overuse and repetitive microtrauma of the growth plates of the heel bone. It most commonly affects children aged 7 to 15 years.
Achilles tendinosis: This is also known as degenerative tendinopathy, tendonitis, tendinosis, and tendinopathy. It is a chronic condition associated with the progressive degeneration of the Achilles tendon. Chronic tendonitis (lasting more than 6 weeks) can lead to tendinosis and, in severe cases, rupture of the tendon may occur.
Sometimes the Achilles tendon does not function properly because of multiple, minor microscopic tears of the tendon, which cannot heal and repair themselves correctly. As the Achilles tendon receives more tension than it can cope with, microscopic tears develop. Eventually, the tendon thickens, weakens, and becomes painful.
- Pain and stiffness in the back of the ankle close to the heel, especially when walking and bearing weight.
- Mild swelling along the tendon.
Other causes of heel pain include:
- Achilles tendon rupture, where the tendon is torn
- A plantar fascia tear
- Baxter’s nerve entrapment
- Calcaneal stress fracture
- Calcaneal cysts
- Soft tissue mass
- Short flexor tendon tear
- Systemic arthritis (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
- Bone bruise
- Problems with circulation
- Poor posture when walking or running
- Bone cyst, a solitary fluid-filled cyst in a bone
- Gout, when levels of uric acid in the blood rise until urate crystals start to build up around the joints, causing inflammation and severe pain
- Neuroma, or Morton’s neuroma, when a nerve becomes swollen in the ball of the foot, commonly between the base of the second and third toes
- Osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone or bone marrow leads to inflammation of the bone
- Anyone can suffer from heel pain, but certain groups seem to be at increased risk, including:
- Middle-aged men and women
- Physically active people
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who are on their feet for long periods of time
- Children aged between eight and 13 years (particularly boys)
- Women during pregnancy.
- Ill-fitting shoes
- Standing, running or jumping on hard surfaces
- Injury to the heel, such as stress fractures
- Certain disorders, including diabetes and arthritis
- Neuroma (nerve enlargement)
Depending on the condition, the cause of heel pain is diagnosed using a number of tests, including:
- Medical history.
- Physical examination, including examination of joints and muscles of the foot and leg.
Homeopathic medicines are highly effective in treating heel pain. Heel pain from inflammation of joints/tendons/fascia, high uric acid, bone spurs are all curable with natural Homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines for heel pain are very safe and carry no risk of adverse side-effects. They are helpful in both acute and chronic heel pain. They act at the root to stop recurrence of the disease process. They stimulate the disease fighting mechanism of the body. As the healing system of the body is strengthened, the pain is completely eradicated. Homeopathic medicines can be safely used among persons of all age groups to treat heel pain.
It works well when over stressing, over stretching, tearing of plantar fascia leads to heel pain. The pain in the heel gets worse with every step as one start walking, but gradually decreases as the person continues to walk.
It is one of the most useful Homeopathic medicines for heel pain where pain in the heel is worse in the morning time and when rising from a seat.
It is one of the best Homeopathic medicines for heel pain from spurs. It is indicated for boring, digging type of pain in the heel from bony outgrowths. Numbness in the heel may be alternated with pain in a few cases.
It is highly helpful in dissolving bony spurs in the heel. Calcarea Fluor is a natural medicine which has shown excellent results in heel spur cases.
It is the best suited among Homeopathic medicines for heel pain from achilles tendinitis in cases where the pain ascends upwards to the legs.
Bryonia is one of the most effective Homeopathic medicines for heel pain indicated in cases where the pain worsens with movement and gets better by taking rest. Pressure also worsens the heel pain in such cases. Swelling and heat in the heels is also felt.
It is one of the most wonderful Homeopathic medicines for heel pain from gout where swelling is present along with acute pain. The pain gets worse with movement and touch.
It is the most effective among Homeopathic medicines for heel pain from gout which is chronic in nature. A person who needs prescribing Lycopodium will have severe pain in the heel from uric acid deposits. The pain gets worse with each step. Pain while walking feels like a stone pressing under the heel.
Ammonium carb is best for heel pain on standing with tenderness. There is cramps in calf and soles. The big toe painful and swollen.
Berberis vulgaris is effective for heel pain which is relieved by putting the entire body weight on them. Pain in the heel as if ulcerated.
Borax is effective for heel pain with burning pain in great toe. There is inflammation of the bulb of toes and stitching pain in soles.
Ammonium Mur is a very effective Homeopathic medicine for heel pain due Calcaneal Spur. Pain in heel on walking. This Homeopathic remedy is of great help in decreasing the pain in heel on walking due to Calcaneal Spur. Ammonium Mur helps in decreasing the pain as well as dissolving the spur. Apart from specific worsening of pain on walking, the person also complains of pain in morning. A few people needing Ammonium Mur may get relief by slight rubbing of the heel. The pain can be stitching or tearing in nature.
Cyclamen is effective for burning boring pain in heels, better by moving about, massage, warmth, worse sitting or standing and by a cold bath.
Pain in heel at night. The pain in heel at night due to Calcaneal Spur.
Pain by touching. Mezereum is best for heel pain due to spur and it is worse by touching. For patients complaining of pain in heel spur when touched, Mezereum is the best remedy. The patient may show an increased sensitivity to cold air.
Petroleum is prescribed when stitching pain in heels as if by splinters. The heels are rough with cracks and fissures. The complaints are worse in winter.
Phytolacca dec is best when aching pain in heels occurs, which is relieved by elevating the feet. The nature of the pain is like electric shocks.
Ranunculus is best for acute pain in heels. There is pulsative stitches in the left heel on standing.
Silicea is prescribed when tearing pain in the heels is present due to sprained ankles. Soreness in feet from in step through to the sole.
Lathyrus sat is prescribed when heels do not touch the ground due to pain on walking. The patient walks on the front part of the feet.