Picture the lowly heel. It’s really the cornerstone of your body as all your weight rests on this mechanism of bone, muscle and tendon.
The heel plays a very important part in shaping the arch and managing the stress of running and walking.
How your Heel Works
The heel bone gives your heel its shape and is the largest bone in the foot. There are 2 muscles that extend from the sides of the heel bone. These muscles move your big toe and your smallest toe.
The heel bone is also the starting point for the Achilles tendon, the largest and strongest in the body. This band of fibrous tissue connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon pulls on the heel when the calf muscles flex and let us push up on our toes to jump, run and walk.
Your ankle and heel work together to shape your foot’s arch. But the heel has another job, along with the arch, to help your foot distribute evenly the forces applied to it.
What Causes Heel Pain?
Because of the everyday stress placed on the heel and its complex workings with muscles and tendons, pain on the bottom or back of the heel has many possible causes.
The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis or inflammation of the plantar fascia, a fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot beginning at the heel. The pain of plantar fasciitis often is worse when getting out of bed in the morning.
Another frequent cause of heel pain is Achilles tendonitis. This inflammation of the Achilles tendon results from overuse, stress or injury.
Other causes of heel pain include:
- Bursitis, or inflammation of the bursa sacs
- Haglund’s deformity which extends from the back of the heel
- Heel spur, often associated with plantar fasciitis
- Osteomyelitis or bone infection
- Stress fractures
Diagnosing and Treating Heel Pain
Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM urges you to make an appointment to see us at our Chicago Heel Pain Center if you have persistent heel pain. With modern diagnosing and treatment options, there is no need to live with heel pain.
We will thoroughly examine both feet and order x-rays right here in our office. Sometimes a blood test can reveal the cause of heel problems too.
Each patient’s medical condition is unique and we’ll treat whatever problems we find. But the first step is yours – call us today to begin relieving your heel pain.
Come Visit Us at our Chicago Heel Pain Center
Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to treat all kinds of heel pain. Many treatments and surgeries can be addressed right here in our office. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Chronic heel pain does not go away by itself – call us today!