There are quite a few of the more well-known and obvious sources of heel pain including a heel fracture (ouch!), bone spur, and Achilles tendon rupture (that’s a really bad one). But the source of heel pain can also be more innocuous and difficult to pinpoint often requiring further investigation and testing involving imaging studies and nerve conduction tests.
Two sources of heel pain that may not be obvious include the following:
- Soft tissue damage—The softer tissues of the foot, including the ligaments, tendons, and muscles, can become inflamed and damaged from stress and overuse. Heel pain can be felt as a radiating component of injury to the peroneal tendons that run along the sides of your feet as well as from an arch injury like plantar fasciitis.
- Neuropathy and neuroma—Neuropathy is nerve damage that is frequently associated with diabetes, but it can also occur from injury, pinching, and other diseases. A foot neuroma is characterized by a growth of tissue and inflammation around a nerve, usually near the ball of the foot.
Heel pain that is caused by nerve problems can have symptoms very similar to the pain caused by plantar fasciitis, so be sure to get a proper diagnosis from your foot doctor. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.