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Heel pain when walking, stepping, bending, at rest - the main causes and treatments

This is a common problem – heel pain. Almost all women and many members of the stronger sex have to deal with it. It can appear for various reasons – both harmless, not in need of treatment, and serious, which require immediate medical intervention – and therefore it is better not to neglect the painful sensations and contact specialists in time.

The structure of the human heel

Before you figure out where the pain in the heel comes from and how to deal with it, it does not hurt to find out how this part of the limb works. The basis of the rear block of the foot is a group of bones of the tarsus. The calcaneus is the largest in it. Closer to the back, it transforms into a tubercle. This structure of the heel makes it noticeably convex. The bifurcated ligament unites the calcaneus, scaphoid and cuboid bones into a joint called Choparov.

human heel structure

From the base to the place where the muscles of the lower leg are connected, the Achilles tendon leads – one of the strongest in the body, capable of withstanding loads of up to 400 kg. Blood in the heel comes from branches of the posterior tibial artery. The latter passes through the muscle responsible for the abduction of the first toe and calcaneus. This is where the tibial nerve is located. The fascia occupies the space from the heads of the metatarsal bones to the calcaneal tubercle.

Heel pain – causes

Pain in the foot, heel, may appear for various reasons. Because of it, the quality of a person’s life deteriorates noticeably, therefore, as a rule, patients want to cope with the problem quickly. To eliminate unpleasant symptoms, it is important to find out why the heels hurt. Among the most common reasons:

  • constant stop overload;
  • overweight;
  • a noticeable decrease in the subcutaneous fat layer on the sole (against the background of weight loss or serious stress);
  • prolonged standing.

Heel pain when walking

It is caused by various factors. Very often people have to suffer due to severe leg fatigue. Sometimes heel pain occurs with infections. In this case, the pain almost never goes away, but only intensifies when walking, and is accompanied by symptoms such as:

  • a sharp increase in temperature;
  • puffiness;
  • swelling of the affected area of ​​the limb.

When the heel hurts when walking, there are other reasons. Among them:

  • bruises;
  • fractures;
  • epiphysitis;
  • sprains, ankle tendon ruptures and other foot injuries.

heel pain when walking

Pain in the heel when stepping on

A common unpleasant phenomenon – the heel hurts, it hurts to step on, in the morning after sleep. Symptoms come on immediately after waking up and make you move very carefully, on tiptoe. After a while, the soreness subsides, but during the day it can return – after a long stay in a lying or sitting position. If the heel hurts so much, it hurts to step on, the cause may be plantar fasciitis.

There are other factors that contribute to the appearance of unpleasant symptoms. Here is why heels sometimes hurt in the morning:

  • prolonged use of flat shoes;
  • quick set of extra pounds;
  • sudden rapid increase in motor activity;
  • flat feet;
  • ankylosing spondylitis;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • gout;
  • bursitis;
  • tendonitis in the area of ​​the Achilles tendon.

Pain in the heel when bending the foot

Another common phenomenon is severe pain that occurs when the foot is bent. When the heels hurt so much, the cause may be neuritis or pinched nerve endings. Such pathologies develop when there is a deformation of the bones in the foot, blood circulation is disturbed, or irreversible age-related changes begin.

Cosmetic defects can also cause discomfort. Little things, like corns, warts on the surface of the sole, sometimes also give pain in the heel. Soreness when bending the foot, accompanied by burning and redness of the skin, is characteristic of gout. With diabetes, similar symptoms also occur, but they, among other things, are complemented by cracks and wounds.

Heel pain at rest

As practice shows, heel pain cannot begin for no apparent reason. It can be caused by the following problems:

  1. tuberculosis of the bones. It develops from necrosis of small areas of the skin. Gradually, the infection spreads over a large area, and the limbs become covered with purulent fistulas.
  2. Osteomyelitis of the heel. This purulent-necrotic process is caused by bacteria. The disease develops not only in the bones, but also in the bone marrow, and can sometimes affect neighboring soft tissues. The pain is strong and boring, aggravated by any movement.
  3. reactive arthritis. Restless at night. The disease is caused by intestinal and urogenital infections.
  4. Malignant neoplasms. Sometimes they are also manifested by pain in the heels.

Side heel pain

Very often it appears with injuries and various mechanical damage. So that there are no serious consequences when the heel hurts on the side, you need to contact the doctors as soon as possible. If the pain is throbbing, then the injury has already been complicated by an infection. Unpleasant sensations from the outside, accompanied by a burning sensation and a feeling of numbness, in most cases indicate problems with the nerve endings of the feet.

Back heel pain

There are many reasons why the back of the heel sometimes hurts. Among the most basic:

  1. Injuries. Symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the injury.
  2. Calcaneal exostosis. A bump appears on the heel. This happens when cartilage tissue develops disproportionately.
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis. When the disease destroys the cells of the body, violated the basic processes. In some cases, this leads to heel pain.
  4. Achilles tendon tear. In this case, the heel swells, and the pain becomes unbearably strong. All this gradually flows into inflammation of the heel bag, which must be treated very quickly in order to avoid complications.

Heel pain on the inside

As a rule, soreness does not appear alone. This violation is accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms. If you study the latter, you can understand why the heels hurt so much. Common reasons include:

  1. Acute pain and swelling appear with gout. Attacks are regularly repeated for months. The pain does not go away at night.
  2. At osteomyelitis the color of the skin on the heel changes, the temperature rises sharply, swelling appears on the affected area.
  3. Osteoarthritis accompanied by acute pain on the inside of the heel, which appears when moving.
  4. At heel spurs this symptom may also occur. Many patients complain of pain in the morning.
  5. Night pain in the heel on the inside – a sign infections in the intestines or urinary system.

How to treat heel pain?

how to treat heel pain

In order for the soreness to go away, you need to remove the reason why it appeared. This should be done by a professional. What to do if the heel hurts, before meeting with a specialist?

There are several ways to deal with discomfort:

  1. An ice cube can be moved along the arch of the foot from the toes to the heel. This is one of the most effective ways when the heel hurts, it hurts to step on, how to treat the problem.
  2. Pain relievers ointments, such as Pelan, Indomethacin, Kartek, Hydrocortisone, are effective.
  3. With severe pain, you can take an anesthetic based on ibuprofen: Solpaflex, Ibufen, Markofen, Nurofen.
  4. A simple but effective method is to hold your feet for a while in a basin of water at room temperature.


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