Heel pain is an extremely common problem. It can be due to several reasons. A precise diagnosis is important in order to provide the right treatment. Some of the common causes of heel pain include plantar fasciitis, spur, tarsal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures etc.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by the inflammation of the tight tissues present at the arch of the foot. Heel pain as a result of prolonged standing or walking is the major characteristic symptom of this disorder.
Heel spur is also related to plantar fascitis. This condition is resulted as an after effect of plantar fascitis that is left untreated.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is yet another disorder that might result in heel pain. It is caused when a large nerve in the back of the foot gets entrapped or pinched. A similar irregularity that occurs in the hand is called Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Stress fractures of the calcaneus are, however, a rarely found cause of heel pain. Stress fractures usually occur in long distance runners. Posterior heel pain generally refers to the pain that occurs behind the foot. Posterior heel pain can be due to Achilles tendonitis and retrocalcaneal bursitis.
You should seek medical aid, in case you find the pain intolerable. Inability to walk properly using the affected side, pain that occurs even while resting, heel pain that occurs at night, pain in the heels that do not get reduced even after a few days, swelling or discolouration etc are warning bells to which you need to pay attention. If, by any chance, slight signs of infection such as redness or fever are experienced, no delay should be made in seeking medical aid.
Avoiding precipitating activities such as strenuous exercising should be avoided for a few days, in order to get rid of heel pain. Applying ice packs on the affected area is also found to be helpful in controlling heel pain.