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When Older Adults Experience Heel and Back-of-the-Foot Pain

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Older adults are at an increased risk of developing foot problems. If you have heel pain or pain that is located at the back of your feet, chances are that it may be one of three conditions: plantar fasciitis, bursitis, or an Achilles tendon injury. Plantar fasciitis is the most common form of heel pain. This occurs when the plantar fascia tissue on the bottom of the foot gets injured or irritated and inflamed, typically through overuse. Plantar fasciitis pain is usually more intense in the morning or after periods of rest. Your podiatrist may treat it with custom orthotics, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, shockwave therapy, or by other means. Bursitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the bursa sac between your Achilles tendon and heel bone at the back of your foot. This is a fluid filled sac that cushions joints and bones, helps protect the tendon, and reduces friction. This bursa can become inflamed, painful, swollen, or red from repetitive motions or direct pressure. The Achilles tendon can suffer from various injuries such as ruptures, tendonitis, or enthesopathy, which are typically caused by intense or repetitive strain on the tendon. If you feel any of the symptoms described here, have a podiatrist examine you and perform whatever tests are necessary to properly diagnose your condition and devise an effective treatment plan. 

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Bruce Smit, DPM of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running


Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Frankfort, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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