Walking abnormalities result in heel pain, as a lot of stress is placed on the heel bone and the delicate tissues that are attached to it. The stress may also be from an injury or a bruise that occurred while walking, running or jumping. Improper shoes and weight are also the causes of stress.
Heel pain is divided into two main categories: pain below the heel and pain behind the heel.
Pain below the heel: If the pain is under the heel, there are several ways you could have aroused the tissues on the sole. They are:
• Stone bruise: The flat pad below the heel is usually bruised when you step on a rock or any hard surface. The pain is nothing to worry about as it goes away with rest.
• Plantar fasciitis: The tissue band which connects the heel bone to the base of the toe is generally inflamed if one does excessive running or jumping. The pain occurs in the middle of the heel. It is less at first but it increases after time. Special exercise is needed to reduce the swelling and a heel pad is worn in the shoe.
Pain behind the heel: If you notice pain behind the heel that means that the area where the Achilles tendon inserts in the heel bone has been inflamed. This happens due to lots of running or wearing shoes that hurt the heel. This pain builds ups with time, causing the skin to harden and swell. Sometimes a bump is formed on the back on the heel. The pain increases when you start an activity again. One should get an x-ray done to check if it is a bone spur.
The doctor may advice you to apply ice for about 10 minutes, many times a day, especially after an activity, and at bed time. If the pain is still there then the doctor may prescribe some painkillers to kill the pain. Orthotics is also very helpful in this case.
Walking barefoot is very helpful in releasing the heel pain. Walking bare foot on grass is also good. Stretching and strengthening exercises make the heel muscles stronger and help in faster recovery from the pain.