Heel pain is a common foot problem and has a number of possible causes. The most common cause is plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that spans the sole of the foot and provides shock absorption while walking.
Other frequent causes of heel pain include soft tissue inflammation, such as bursitis or a pinched nerve. In children, heel pain can be caused by strain on the heel bone's growth plate.
Heel pain is inflammation typically located on the underside or the back of the heel. Heel pain typically affects middle-aged men and women with a positive history of increased activity, prolonged standing, recent weight gain and/or body mass index of >25.
Causes & Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is causally related to a faulty structure of the foot. That is, those with problems of arches [either overly flat feet or high-arched feet], are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
Wearing nonsupportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces adds unusual strain on the plantar fascia which can lead to plantar fasciitis. This is most common for those working on their feet for extended periods of time. Obesity and overuse can also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
- Pain on the base of the heel
Pain in the arch of the foot
Pain that is usually worse when standing up
Pain that increases over a period of months
Swelling on the bottom of the heel
People with plantar fasciitis commonly describe the pain getting worse when they get up in the morning or after they have been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking, the pain decreases because walking stretches the fascia. For some people, the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet.