Solving the Mystery of Unexpected Heel Pain

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

man applying ice to heelWhat makes a mystery great is following the clues to find the unexpected culprit at the end. It’s true that sometimes you can guess the ending, but other times you don’t know the answer until the “big reveal.” Dinner theater groups like the Mystery Café in Houston capitalize on that by bringing all the fun of a dramatized “murder mystery” without the actual danger of one.

Sometimes addressing foot pain can be a bit like solving a mystery as well. You have clues that lead you a culprit—and it’s not always the one you expect. That’s certainly the case with many heel pain causes.

There a multiple causes of heel pain, some of which are far more common than others. Most of the time when adults develop painful heels, it’s from something like plantar fasciitis. That, however, is far from the only cause. Your discomfort could come from something totally different. Here are a few of the other heel pain culprits that could be the source of your trouble:

  • Achilles Problems – Achilles tendinitis and tendon tears pull on the back of the heel and cause pain.
  • Bursitis – An inflamed bursa between the heel bone and Achilles tendon can create uncomfortable swelling and irritation.
  • Pinched Nerves – Tarsal tunnel syndrome and other pinched nerves can contribute to nerve pain in the back of the foot.
  • Arthritis – Damage to joints around the heel bone can make movement and pressure highly uncomfortable.
  • An Infection – Infections in the bone or soft tissues are rare, but they can be quite painful when they happen.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy – Nerve damage from peripheral neuropathy can create constant nerve discomfort.

The only way to tell for sure what the source of your discomfort is and solve the mystery is to get a full foot examination. Our team at Parker Foot & Ankle is more than happy to help you with this and find that painful culprit, so you can fight it and restore your lower limbs. Make an appointment online, or call our Houston, TX, office at (281) 497-2850 to reach us.

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