• Sudden Heel Pain: Possible Causes

    by Dr. LaMour
    on Nov 18th, 2015

When heel pain strikes, it can completely take you off your game. Depending on the severity of the pain, normal activities like walking, standing or running suddenly become uncomfortable or even impossible. In most instances heel pain is clearly caused by overuse – walking or standing too long or over-exerting yourself in a physical activity. But other times, the source of the pain is less obvious.

Heel pain is one of the most common foot problems experienced around the world. How it develops can make a big difference in how it’s treated, so it’s important to understand what’s causing your heel pain in order to treat it effectively.

Heel pain that comes on suddenly without any obvious cause might be attributed to one of the following factors:


A fractured heel is usually caused by excess force on the bones of the heel sustained during a fall, jump or accident. The pain begins shortly after the impact, and gets worse when standing or walking.


Gout is a type of arthritis that causes painful swelling and redness – typically in the joints of the big toe. But gout can also affect other parts of the foot like the instep, the ankle and the heel.  A gout flare can be triggered by stress, alcohol consumption, illness or consuming foods high in purine. The heel can appear red and swollen, and there is a high level of pain that develops quickly. Symptoms related to gout flares – including heel pain – usually improve within 3 to 10 days.

Diabetic foot complications

One of the complications that people with diabetes may experience is peripheral neuropathy – a type of nerve damage. Neuropathy usually causes pain and numbness in the hands and feet, and can affect one or both heels.

Foot callus

Heel calluses are caused by repeated, prolonged pressure or friction on the skin of the heel. The thickened skin of a callus is a protective reaction to the friction. Heel calluses can become painfully dry and cracked, causing stinging or burning pain in the heel, even when not walking or standing.


When the section of the Achilles tendon that connects to the heel bone becomes inflamed, it can cause pain in the rear of the heel. This is often caused by excessive running or walking, or wearing shoes that rub or cut into the back of the heel. The heel pain will usually flare up at the start of an activity, or from wearing shoes that irritate the inflamed area.

Plantar fasciitis is another, very common diagnosis for people experiencing heel pain. So common, in fact, that many people diagnose themselves as having plantar fasciitis without seeking a medical opinion. An incorrect self-diagnosis can prolong healing time and may even cause additional foot problems due to improper treatment of the actual condition. An experienced podiatrist can perform a thorough exam, provide an informed diagnosis and recommend the best treatment options to get rid of your heel pain.

Are you concerned about a sudden development of pain in your heel? If your pain isn’t improving, don’t put off seeking treatment any longer. Contact us today for an appointment.

Original Source: http://www.drjefflamour.com/heel-pain/sudden-heel-pain-possible-causes/

Author Dr. LaMour

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