No matter the level of running you perform, injuries are something inevitable and heel pain after running is one such very common issue. The problem sounds very simple but can get complicated if not taken care of in the early stages itself. There is a myriad of reasons to blame as well as a lot of remedies that can give appreciable results.
It is to take a collective approach towards familiarizing you with all the related aspects of heel pain that we present this article to you. It’s not just the treatment that we will be telling you about but also how to know the right cause that leads to the right cure. Read on.
- 1 What can cause heel pain?
- 2 What are the symptoms?
- 3 How to know the right cause of heel pain?
- 4 What are some major foot problems that cause heel pain?
- 5 What preventive measures you can take?
- 6 How to treat and help pain from running?
- 7 Do you need to see the doctor?
- 8 Conclusion
What can cause heel pain?
The list is long:
What are the symptoms?
If you notice any of these things happening to your feet, then you must know that a problem is on the rise:
- You will feel pain mostly on the downside or the back of the heel.
- It will begin gradually and then turn severe.
- The pain is not necessarily connected to any injury.
- The mornings are really painful and so are the day ends.
- You may also feel pain in the inner foot or heel front.
- If you wear flat shoes, then you are at a high risk of heel pain.
How to know the right cause of heel pain?
Heel pain after running can be a result of various causes which can be difficult to diagnose in one go. Although a very simple way to ascertain the cause can be to understand that which part of the foot is feeling the pain. Let us help you with that.
- Pain in the foot arch- Plantar Fasciitis
- Toes paining- Bunions, Corns
- Toenails pain- Black toenail, Subungual hematoma
- Pain at the foot top- Extensor Tendonitis
- Pain at foot front- Numbness
- Pain at foot side- Tendinitis, Stress fractures
- The skin of the foot paining- Blisters, Athlete’s foot
What are some major foot problems that cause heel pain?
It’s a fact that pain in the heel doesn’t emanate from any single injury like fall or any twist in the foot. The heels also get affected by repetitive pounding and stress on the particular area or around. Let us tell you some of the other causes that become the major culprit behind a painful heel.
This can be the worst problem any good runner may happen to face and is a very stubborn menace.
Pain on the downside of the heel happens due to a foot problem called Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain after running are primarily a result of this. It involves the inflammation or collagen degeneration of a ligament near the foot tip called Plantar Fascia and the arch being low or high. The risk factors for it include gait, age, strenuous exercises, foot mechanics, obesity, wrong footwear, and occupational hazards.
This condition requires clinical diagnosis and happens mostly with the runners having flat feet. The pain subsided with activity but it returns after that and can even get worse. You feel pain mostly in the mornings when it’s very bad and this happens due to the tissues becoming tight and dormant.
Watch this video.
This can be believed to be the second usual reason for heel pain after running. This chronic foot condition is related to the gradual degeneration of the Achilles Tendon. It is caused by microscopic tearing of the tendon which is not able to repair and self-heal.
This way, the tendons become more thick, weak, and ultimately painful. Excessive walking or exercising, Rheumatoid Arthritis, lack of warm-up, the strain on calf muscles, improper footwear, bone spurs in the heel area, age factor, etc. can become the reason behind Achilles Tendonitis. If you feel swelling and pain in the heel back during running or calf muscles getting tightened or motion limitedness, then it becomes evident that you are suffering from Tendonitis.
Pain in the foot sides
This lateral pain casts an effect on the outer portion of the foot or heel whereas medial pain causes problems to the inner edge. There can be many causes of it- a sudden increase in mileage training, sprain, improper footwear, tarsal coalition, bunions, calluses, corns, etc. The major reasons that cause are-
Tendon inflammation or Tendinitis- This induces slow pain into the feet which increases gradually and gets worst later. Rest and icing are the remedies or if the situation worsens then any foot specialist may have to help with any therapy.
Stress fracture- This is another very common injury among the runners that have direct roots in osteoporosis, strenuous exercises, sports, repetitive stress, or heavy physical work. The metatarsal bones of the feet get fractured.
It is the contusion of bone and tissues present under the heel and the pain happens here only. The pain is gradual and gets worse if you continue walking. This condition is caused by hard sole footwear, high intensity running, sudden mileage increase.
The symptoms of the Bruised heel are quite similar to the ones of plantar fasciitis and also a very common reason behind heel pain.
The children and teenage athletes are the usual sufferers of this foot condition that causes heel pain after running. It happens due to continuous microtrauma being caused to the growth plates associated with the heel bone or overuse.
Bursa is a liquid-filled fibrous sack at the heel back. It suffers from pain if stress is put over it due to hard landing or the footwear. The heel insides or back pain due to this and even may lead to swelling in the Achilles tendon.
This happens in the heel pad if they become too thin or get too stressed due to heavy footsteps.
More frequent with teenagers, their immature heel bone rubs too much due to a flat foot or uncomfortable footwear like heels.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
It is like a compression neuropathy that affects the foot or ankle due to the entrapping of a particular nerve.
The list is not over and some other reasons that can be cited when its Foot arch pain not plantar fasciitis- calcaneal stress fracture, soft tissue mass, bone bruise, circulation problems, Baxter’s nerve entrapment, short flexon tendon tear, systemic arthritis, poor posture, gout, osteomyelitis, peripheral neuropathy, neuroma, and many others.
What preventive measures you can take?
Prevention is the best option that needs to be undertaken to both- prevent any injury or avoid getting injured again. It’s the wisest choice and let us tell you what all you can do to not let heel pain after running ruin your moment.
How to treat and help pain from running?
Early treatment of the symptoms is the best option and you can choose to start with home treatments that will prove very effective if done right. It is wise to start as soon as you see the symptoms emerging.
Extra tip: These two stretches are going to help pain from running in the two prime foot conditions-
Watch this video to know more.
Do you need to see the doctor?
When the situation escalates and nothing works, then its time you seek medical help. We will tell you when.
- If you feel unending pain along with swelling in the heel portion
- If you are experiencing tingling sensations in the feet along with pain, fever, and numbness
- If you are unable to walk normally at all
- If you are unable to stand on your toe or bend your feet downwards
- If the pain doesn’t subside even after one week
- If even walking or standing straight gives pain
- If you heard a ‘pop’ while any injury
Once you reach this level, then the doctor might suggest a surgery after proper diagnosis based on your medical history (if any) and give the right treatment as per the results.
We wrote this exhaustive article only to not leave any stone unturned while helping you deal with the heel pain after running that you may be experiencing. We covered every issue that can be responsible for the pain and all the curing measures that you can take. Hopefully, you will recover faster with the proper care and our effort will be a part of it.