Pain in the heel is often associated with plantar fasciitis, but it’s not the only possible cause of heel and arch pain. There are a variety of other conditions that can create a similar sensation in the foot but is caused by a totally different mechanism.

Three other possible sources of heel and arch pain:

Joint problems—Sometimes the cause of pain in the bottom of the foot or heel is caused by joint diseases such as arthritis. This pain can radiate to other areas of the foot and, without expert advice, may easily be misidentified as a soft tissue problem.

Soft tissue injuries—The ligaments, tendons, muscles and other softer tissues of the foot can become injured during while working out, causing an injury that mimics a plantar fascia injury. For example, the two peroneal tendons that run along the outside of the foot are sometimes the actual source of bottom-of-the-foot swelling and pain. A serious injury such as a torn ligament would require different treatment, and using the treatment for a plantar fascia injury can actually cause further damage. 

Nerve disorders—Since problems with the functioning of nerves is an infrequent source of heel pain, it is often not considered. The stress and pressure that your feet absorb during exercise, along with improper gait mechanics and just normal aging, can adversely affect the peripheral nerves that run from the brain to your extremities.

Nerve related heel pain can be very similar to the pain caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, so it’s important to have a proper diagnosis by your foot care specialist in order to get the correct care. If you are experiencing heel pain and discomfort, consult with our board-certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!

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