Other conditions that can cause heel pain include:
- Stress fracture of the heel
This is a common condition for soldiers or runners who do a
lot of marching or road running. Symptoms include Insidious,
gradual onset heel pain which is often made worse by weight
bearing activities. Often an X-ray of the injured bone will
not show any sign of fracture until the fracture has actually
started to heal (2-3 weeks later). It is recommended in the
case of a stress fracture that you should rest completely for
6-8 weeks. Crutches can be helpful.
The skin of the outer surface of the heel is thick, providing
protection for the foot in standing and walking. Under to the
skin lies the fat pad, which consists of tightly woven fibrous
septa. Atrophy of the fat pad may contribute to heel pain in
- Entrapment of medial and lateral calcaneal
When there is an excessive over pronation or pressure from
shoes, in effect the medial nerve can become trapped. Pain will
radiate from the inside of the heel out towards the centre of
Nerves called the medial and lateral plantar nerves run along
the inside of the ankle and go to either side of the heel. If
you over pronate (your foot rolls in excessively ) then the
pressure is put on these nerves which can become inflamed, causing
tarsal tunnel syndrome. This results in sharp pain radiating
into the arch of the foot, heel and sometimes the toes.
Soft tissue infection with or without abscess
is a possible cause of heel pain. Cardinal signs of infection
with bone involvement make up the typical presentation. Incision
and drainage with appropriate oral or intravenous antibiotics
are the treatments of choice.
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