Heel Pain explained

Are you experiencing heel pain? You may experience it when you are walking or standing in some cases you may feel the pain when you are simply sitting down. This can be something that is relatively mild and have a simple cause or it can be very painful and the sign of something much greater.

Determining whether your heel pain is relevant to trauma or the sign of some other problem will help you to get the right treatment that you need to stop the pain.

Common Causes

Heel pain a large majority of the time is a simple mechanical malfunction. It is usually remedied on its own. You have 26 bones in the human foot, that leaves a lot of room for something to malfunction and cause you pain.

The heel specifically is designed to absorb the weight of your body. Simply walking puts over 1 times the amount of your body weight on a very small surface. Stress fractures and other injuries to your heel are a very real possibility.

If you run you are multiplying the possibility of some sort of injury by 2 times. You can easily develop arthritis in this area as well.

In some unlikely cases, heel pain may be relative to auto immune disease , a neurological issue, trauma or some sort of systemic disease that actually is affecting the entire body. There are some serious maladies that also will cause your heel to ache.

  • Achilles Heel Tendon Rupture- you can tear the tendon to your heel which will cause a great deal of pain.
  • Bone Bruising
  • Bone Cyst is a fluid filled sac that can grow within the bone.
  • Osteomyllitis – Bone infection

Problems with the way you walk. Some people put more pressure on one foot more than the other which can cause the favored foot to become inflamed.

Peripheral Neuropathy can also cause heel pain. When the peripheral nerves are damaged in some way you can experience pain in all different parts of your body that were never injured including your heel.

Gout can also cause heel pain. Gout is a disease that is caused by a build up or uric acid in your urine.

When To Seek Medical Help

There are many things you can do at home to seek relief which is addressed in the next section. There are certain signs that you should not ignore and need to seek medical treatment. If you experience any of the following you should contact a medical professional:

  • Heel pain and fever
  • Heel pain and swelling
  • Heel pain and the inability to walk
  • pain continues for more than 7 days
  • You are unable to bend your foot down
  • You are unable to stand on your toes.

When you visit with your doctor they will determine if you need to see a specialist for further diagnostic testing. You will likely be sent for xrays and other testing. In most cases  the treatment will consist of treating the main cause of the problem and orders to stay off the foot for a few days.

In extreme cases you may have to go for additional treatment depending on what the diagnosis is.


At Home Treatment

If you suffer from undiagnosed heel pain and you just do not know what is causing the sporadic pain. You can treat it yourself at home of course if the pain persists and you can not find relief at home than you should seek medical advice.

You can start off with a warm foot soak you can add some Epson salt to the bath water for your feet. Epson salt has healing properties and can help to relieve the ache. Soaking your foot for 30 minutes a night can help you to find comfort and relief.

You can take over the counter ibuprofen which will relieve the pain and help to reduce any swelling you may be experiencing.

Of course you should also stay off the foot for as long it is painful to stand on. You can also wrap your foot with an elastic bandage or buy a brace that will help to ease the pain when you walk.

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