The human foot, which is located at the terminal portion of the leg, is the locomotive and weight-bearing part of the body, comprising of 26 bones and 33 joints, in addition to over a hundred muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The bones of the hindfoot, which is the rear part of the foot, are the talus (ankle bone) and the calcaneus (heel bone). The feet are very susceptible to a number of injuries like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, Achilles tendinitis, bunions etc. As in other places, there are many foot and ankle doctors in Long Beach who are experienced enough to diagnose and treat foot problems. How Does Pain Occur In The Heel?
The heel bone is the largest bone in the foot. Foot doctors in Long Beach are of the opinion that heel discomfort occurs mainly due to overuse and very rarely due to injury. Since we need to move around, the feet are constantly in use and there is no way to rest them fully. The most common causative factors of heel pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. The location of the discomfort is the clearest indicator of the problem. Plantar fasciitis occurs beneath the heel bone, while Achilles tendinitis is the pain in the Achilles tendon. What Is Plantar Fasciitis, Its Causes, And Symptoms? The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toe. Overstretching of this causes small tears to occur causing irritation initially, after which inflammation and pain occur. This condition is termed plantar fasciitis. Usually pain is felt when walking after a period of rest and in the morning. It tends to decrease as walking progresses. Occurrence of this condition for a long time leads to a spur or bone build-up at the point of connection of the heel bone and the plantar fascia. Hence, this condition is also called heel spur syndrome. Usually this problem affects only one foot at a time. Inappropriate footwear with inadequate cushioning and arch support is one of the causative factors as this is mostly seen in people with high arches or flat feet. Weight gain increases tension on the plantar fascia. Any exercise or activity that requires long periods of standing and walking tend to aggravate this problem. While this condition can affect anyone, it is more commonly seen in women. Causes And Symptoms Of Achilles Tendinitis The Achilles tendon is the longest tendon in the human body, which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. When this tendon gets inflamed due to degeneration and overuse, pain, irritation, and swelling occur and this condition is known as Achilles tendinitis. Depending on the location of the affected part of the tendon, this condition can be classified into two. The non-insertional Achilles tendinitis affects the mid portion of the tendon and is mostly seen in active and younger people. Insertional Achilles tendinitis affects the lower portion of the heel. This can affect even inactive people. Sometimes, bone spurs form with this type of tendinitis. There will be stiffness and pain along the tendon in the morning, which worsens with activity and exercise. Swelling will be present always and may get worse with activity. According to doctors in Long Beach, Achilles injury may even occur as a sudden ‘pop’ at the back of the heel or the calf leading to a torn Achilles tendon. A sudden increase in the intensity of physical activity may aggravate this problem, especially in people with tight calf muscles. This puts extra stress on the tendon, leading to discomfort and inflammation.