Heel pain is pain localized in the back of the foot. A pain at the rear of the foot could be due to joints, bones, or other bodily injuries. The ability to walk may also be affected. Pain usually occurs under the heel or just behind it, where the Achilles tendon connects the heel bone. Sometimes it can affect the side of the heel. Heel pain may be due to numerous conditions, including a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation or, rarely, a cyst.
Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
The pain and stiffness you feel in your feet and ankles as you age could be arthritis. If left untreated, this nagging pain can get worse over time, eventually making it difficult to walk even short distances.
Usually due to an underlying injury, ankle pain refers to any kind of sudden or worsening discomfort affecting any part of the ankle.
Ankle Joint Injury
An ankle joint injury may be due to the soft tissues of a ligament or tendon stretching beyond their capacity, better known as an ankle sprain or strain.
Bone Union Problem
A bone is “healed” when it is strong enough to allow for normal activities. A bone union problem is a bone that does not heal properly or is taking longer than expected.
Bursitis is a painful inflammation of a small fluid-filled sac called a bursa, which is located under the tendon and serves as it’s protection.
Cavus foot is a condition in which the foot has a very high arch. This can lead to a variety of other symptoms and can develop at any age.
Equinus contracture is a condition in which the upward bending motion of the ankle joint is limited, lacking the flexibility to lift the top of the foot.
Ankle fractures are common foot injuries most often caused by your ankle rolling inward or outward. A fracture is a partial or complete break in a bone.
Adult flatfoot is caused by changes in the tendon, impairing its ability to support the arch, thus resulting in the flattening of the foot.
A ganglion cyst is a noncancerous lump caused by a small sac of fluid forming over a joint or tendon. They can be painful if they press on a nearby nerve.
Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel that, when it rubs against shoes, may irritate the soft tissues near the Achilles tendon.
Heel Bone Fractures
The heel bone is often compared to a hard-boiled egg due to its thin, hard covering on the outside and its soft, spongy bone on the inside. Once the outer shell is broken, the bone tends to collapse and become fragmented.
Ankle Impingement is a condition where pain is experienced due to compression of the bony or soft tissue structures during a specific range of motion.
Injuries to the Achilles Tendon
An overly stressed Achilles tendon can be subject to mild or serious injuries. If the injury is mild or moderate, it may be limited to burning or stiffness.
Insertional Achilles Tendonitis
Insertional Achilles tendonitis is a degeneration of the Achilles tendon fibers where the tendon inserts into the heel bone.
Instability is the inability of a joint to support weight or maintain balance, a feat which requires coordination between functional ligaments and tendons.
An ankle sprain is an injury to a ligament, a band of tissue that functions like a rubber band to connect bones and bind joints together.
Peroneal Tendon Injury
A peroneal tendon injury most commonly occurs in individuals who participate in sports that involve repetitive ankle motion.
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by repeated strain on the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes, supporting the arch of the foot.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where the immune system attacks the joint lining tissue, causing painful inflammation and stiffness.
A stress fracture is a small crack or severe bruising within a bone and is mostly caused by overuse and repetitive activities.
Tendinopathy and Tendonitis
Tendonitis is the resulting inflammation from tendinopathy (or tendinosis), a common overuse injury caused by frequent and long-term excessive compression.
A tendon rupture is a tear in the tendon connecting bone to muscle. This foot injury is painful and prevents the foot and ankle from moving freely.
A strain is a stretch or tear in the tissues making up a tendon or muscle. These injuries commonly occur while participating in sports.