Heel pain in a common musculoskeletal symptom that affects most of us at some point in our life. The heel bone, known as the calcaneus is the largest bone in the foot and must endure a great amount of stress throughout the day. There are a number of conditions that can cause heel pain, however the three most common conditions include (but are not limited to) plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis and bursitis.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the thick fibrous plantar fascia. This condition is characterized by pain on the bottom of the foot. Pain is often worst when weight bearing after prolonged periods of rest or sleep.
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammatory injury of the achilles tendon due to traumatic injury or overuse. This tough cord like tendon attaches the muscles in the calf to the heel bone. Symptoms include pain when walking, running or jumping and often present in conjunction with swelling, heat and local tenderness.
Bursitis is inflammation of a fluid filled sac located between a tendon and a bone. Retrocalcaneal bursitis is the result of inflammation of a bursa that lies between the Achilles tendon and the heel bone. Bursitis can also be caused by a shoe rubbing over a bony prominence of the foot.
Treatment for Heel Pain
The most common conservative treatments for heel pain include: