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podiatrist fairfaxHeel pain is common and is frequently what brings patients in for their first podiatrist appointment. You may be wondering, though: what causes heel pain? Among the most common causes are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis, but a condition called bursitis can also cause severe heel pain. Our podiatrist in Fairfax explains more below.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain can be debilitating and have many causes. Some of the most common root issues of heel pain include:

  • Plantar fasciitis – tearing or inflammation of the band of muscle that connects the toes to the heel
  • Achilles tendinitis – injury to the Achilles tendon, which connects the heel bone to the calf
  • Heel pad syndrome – deterioration of the fat pad that makes up the heel
  • Bursitis – a painful condition that affects the bursa between the joints.

Heel pain can cause stiffness, swelling, aching, and shooting pains.

What is Bursitis?

Bursitis is the inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae that cushion the joints. With heel bursitis, the main bursa is between your Achilles tendon and the heel bone. When this becomes inflamed, it causes pain in the heel. Symptoms of bursitis include joint stiffness, pain with movement, swelling or redness, and heel pain that worsens as the day goes on.

Risk factors include age, tight shoes, abnormal foot structure, repetitive overuse or injury to the heel, and conditions such as arthritis.

How To Treat Bursitis

Prevention includes comfortable supportive shoes, with heel support pads if necessary, rest, orthotics, physical therapy, and aspiration to remove the fluid from the inflamed bursa. In severe cases (which are rare), a bursectomy might be needed to remove a stubborn, painful bursa. If you have debilitating pain in your heel or are unable to move your foot or walk properly, contact our podiatrist immediately.

Contact Our Podiatrist in Fairfax Today To Find Out More!

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other podiatry-related topics, feel free to contact The Podiatry Center by clicking here or by calling 301-232-3764.


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