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What is this pain in my heel?

Not all heel pain is treated the same. Getting the right diagnosis is essential for proper treatment. Once we determine the exact cause of the heel pain, we can start the proper treatment plan to help reduce the pain. Not diagnosing the cause properly and starting the wrong treatment can sometimes make the heel condition more painful. This is not always that easy. There are many health providers who do not understand the different causes of heel pain and start the wrong treatment making the condition worse.

Let's discuss some of the main symptoms and their cures in order to diagnose this problem:

Symptom 1

You're in your early 60s, active, and play tennis on the weekend. Last time, you got persistent pain at the back of your heel.

It could be Achillies tendonitis, due to overuse of the Achilles tendon, the connection of the calf muscles to your heel bone. It's quite common in middle-aged people who play sports only on the weekends.


Take pain killers to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation with hot and cold compresses. Give up your weekend tennis, and have stretching and strengthening exercises from a physiotherapist.

Symptom 2

You're in your early 50s and have rheumatoid arthritis. Recently you noticed that your heel has become very painful.

It could be Your rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects not only your joints but tendons too, including inflammation of the Achilles tendon that joins the heel bone.


Inform your doctor of this new development. You may need a change in your medication and some physiotherapy.

Symptom 3

You're in your mid-40s, a keen runner and you've been running more than usual. You've developed pain in the back of your heel running down the middle of the sole of your foot.

It could be Plantar fasciitis, one of the major causes of heel pain, common in runners and most sports people.


Stop running. Make sure your running shoes give you adequate support. Take painkillers to ease the pain and inflammation. Ask your doctor to arrange stretching and strengthening exercises. Consider arch support.

Apart from this, Do you know?

Why does your child have leg pain?

Children may suffer specific growing pains in the heels. These pains are typical amongst the more athletic, during growth spurts or in those children whose growth plates are stressed, as well as in children who appear to be uncoordinated (i.e. children who are hypermobile) and in some cases have funny running styles.

Now have a look at some of the symptoms and also learn to stop them:

Symptom 1

Deep leg pain comes from inside the bone. Your child may also be limping.

It could be Not serious but both symptoms could be signs of leukemia, which can start in childhood.

Stop it

If you notice your child is limping, seek urgent medical attention. See a pediatric hematologist for special treatment.

Symptom 2

Vague aches and pains in thigh and shin muscles accompanied by a rapid growth spurt.

It could be Growing pains. No one knows what they are, but they can happen because bones and muscles are growing at different speeds.

Stop it

Tell your child it's nothing to worry about and make sure they rest up after playing sports.

Symptom 3

Pain on the front of the knee where the shin bone joins the knee cap.

It could be Osgood-Schlatter disease which affects the top of the shin bone just under the knee. It's quite common in children who play running and kicking sports.

Stop it

Your child will need to forgo sports for a while and see a specialist who will investigate and monitor the situation so that special treatment can be given.


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