After a long run, the last thing you want is to deal with heel pain.
But unfortunately, this annoying ailment is actually pretty common among runners.
In fact, there are five common types of heel pain that runners can experience.
Today, we’re going to take a look at those five types of heel pain – what they are and what causes them.
So next time you’re dealing with a sore heel, you’ll know exactly what’s going on. Let’s get started!
1st Common Type: Plantar Fasciitis
Have you ever experienced a stabbing pain in your heel when walking or running?
If so, you might have what’s known as plantar fasciitis.
This common condition happens due to inflammation of the tissue that connects your heel bone to the toes on the bottom of your foot. It’s a condition that can be painful, but fortunately with physical activity such as stretching and massaging, it can be managed in most cases.
Believe it or not, running is actually one of the culprits for this type of foot pain. When pounding the pavement or any hard surface with each stride, the pressure and tension from your body weight builds up around your heels.
The lack of support from poor running form only intensifies this issue by subjecting them to even more stress and strain!
Wearing supportive footwear and employing proper running techniques may decrease your chances of developing plantar fasciitis during a run.
2nd Common Type: Achilles Tendonitis
If you thought Achilles Tendonitis was only something characters in Greek mythology like the demigod Achilles had to deal with, you’re wrong.
This affliction has been known to affect modern-day mortals like us as well!
This type of heel pain is caused by inflammation of the inserts of the calcaneal tendon, commonly known as the Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscle to your foot’s heel bone.
And its number one cause?
Yep, you guessed it: running.
That’s right; every time your feet lunge forward while pounding on that pavement, it creates a bit of strain on this tendon, making it inflamed over time until it causes pain.
Of course, if you are a keen runner, then make sure to take enough breaks and have a healthy warm-up routine beforehand in order to help prevent that dreaded feeling from ever striking.
3rd Common Type: Stress Fractures
Heel pain from stress fractures is a type of overuse injury that can occur when running too much or too hard.
This condition occurs in the heel bone, known as the calcaneus, and it’s caused by repeated impact on a weakened or unstructured foot.
It can also be caused by a sudden increase in intensity and distance of running, wearing improper shoes, or having poor nutritional habits.
Stress fractures from running can vary in severity; however, if left untreated, they can develop into complete fractures of the calcaneus which will require more intensive treatment.
4th Common Type: Heel spurs
Heel spurs are like little bumps that can develop on the heel bone. When these bumps rub against the soft tissue around the heel, it can cause pain.
Some people may feel pain in the heel and some may feel it in the bottom of the foot. It can be caused by running or other activities that put a lot of pressure on the heel.
It’s like getting a blister on your heel, the more you rub it, the more it hurts. Heel spurs are caused by the same concept, the more pressure you put on your heel, the more you rub the little bump and the more it hurts.
Just like getting a blister, there are things you can do to help heel spurs feel better. Resting your heel, stretching, and wearing shoes with good cushioning can help. If it continues to hurt, it’s best to talk to a doctor or a foot doctor to see if they have any other advice.
5th Common Type: Heel Bursitis
Heel bursitis from running is a common condition that often leads to pain and tenderness in the heel area.
It generally occurs when the fluid-filled sac near your ankle, known as a bursa, becomes inflamed due to overuse or repetitive movements.
Over time, this inflammation can cause damage leading to heel bursitis. In particular, running on hard surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete, can significantly increase your risk of experiencing this type of injury.
Additionally, those who run excessive distances or sprint too quickly may be more at risk of developing such an issue.
Heel bursitis can be extremely disruptive for runners since it can lead to reduced mobility and progress in their activity.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as swelling or tenderness in the heel area, then seeking professional attention from a medical expert would be highly recommended.
These are just a few of the many possible causes of heel pain. If you’re experiencing heel pain, it’s best to give your heels and feet a rest and consider icing for faster recovery.
If the pain isn’t going down over the course of a week, contact a doctor to find out what is causing your specific pain.
Note: The faster you figure out what specific type of heel pain you have, the faster it can be healed! So, don’t wait until it’s too late and it gets worse.
There are treatments available for all of the conditions listed above, so there is no need to suffer!
With the help of a medical professional, you will be on your way to living pain-free in no time.
Also, we’ll be creating additional articles about how to prevent and overcome these 5 common types.
Comment below what you’d like us to cover next!