The unknown is often far more frightening and frustrating than the known. Think about suspense films or monster movies. Looking for the bad guy or ghost that you are sure is out there somewhere but haven’t seen yet is typically scarier than actually seeing them. Knowing the actual cause of things makes them a lot less frightening—and the same can be true of health and pain issues. Not knowing why your heel hurts or if anything can treat it can be more unnerving than knowing the exact cause of your heel pain.
Heel pain is a general term that refers to any specific condition that causes pain in your heels. There are actually many different issues that fall into this category. Some sources of heel problems are more common than others, but knowing the cause can help you get the treatment and care you need in the long run. Here are a few reasons your heels might hurt:
- Plantar fasciitis – The most common cause of adult heel pain, this is inflammation, swelling, and tightening in the ligament that runs the length of your sole.
- Achilles tendon problems – Damage to your Achilles can cause pain in your heels. Tendonitis causes inflammation and tightening, while a rupture makes it excruciatingly difficult to push off the ground.
- Haglund’s deformity – This is a hard bump on the back of your heel bone. It develops when your heel is under friction and pressure.
- Bursitis – Enough stress on the back of your heel can actually inflame the protective bursa there, causing swelling and discomfort.
- Arthritis – Inflammation damage and deterioration in the joints around your heel can make putting pressure on the back of your foot very uncomfortable.
- Fractures – Cracks in the heel bone are extremely painful to put weight on, making walking very challenging.
- Nerve problems – A pinched or otherwise injured nerve in the back of your foot can cause discomfort through the heel and forward into the foot.