arthritis, much familiar called ‘gout’, occurs when there is a lot of uric acid
(higher than normal) in the body. As with most arthritis, it is a painful
condition affecting joints of the body. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint located
at the base of the big toe is the frequent area affected by this arthritis. Sometimes
gout occurs in the knees, ankles, wrists, fingers, and elbow. Does it also
attack the heel and cause heel pain?
extremely common foot problem, probably in women. The pain can occur in the
side, under, or just behind the heel. Although it’s very common, it’s not
always easy to find the underlying cause of the problem since there are a
number of different potential causes (ranging from mild to serious), some are
as follows .
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pain in the heel can be attributed by many factors, the most common causes
probably are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.
fasciitis, as the name suggests, is inflammation and irritation of the plantar
fascia (the tight tissue, bowstring-like ligament that connects the heel bone (calcaneum)
and the base of toes). It causes pain in the heel, which typically will flare
up after rest (e.g. after prolonged sitting or when you make first steps in the
morning). Obesity and certain exercises that drive a lot of pressure on the
heel would make plantar fasciitis more likely.
about Achilles tendonitis? This chronic and degenerative tendonitis affects the
Achilles tendon, a strong and large tendon located in the back of the heel
bone. It causes inflammation and swelling, making your heel painful with
movement. The affected tendon is usually stiff in the morning. Many times Achilles
tendonitis is a result of overuse, running too much for example.
called pump bumps, heel bumps often affect teenagers since their heel bone is
still fragile (not fully mature). It causes the formation of too much bone,
which is quite painful. Teenagers who start to use high heels when their heel
bone is not ready enough would be at high risk of this syndrome.
bursitis is inflammation affecting the bursa, a fibrous fluid-filled sac.
Depending on where the inflammation occurs (the bursa located beneath the
Achilles tendon or the bursa between the skin and Achilles tendon), the pain
would be deep in the back of your heel or felt on top of your Achilles tendon.
Excess pressure from footwear and landing awkwardly are some common causes of
stress from activities, strenuous exercise and competitive sports for examples,
drives more excess stress on the heel bone which may lead to a fracture. That’s
why stress fractures are quite common in athletes especially long distance
are at high risk of developing stress fracture affecting their metatarsal bones
of foot. Certain conditions such as eating disorder (like anorexia) and chronic
bone-loss disorder (osteoporosis and osteopenia) will also make the fracture
The fracture is painful, which may interfere with daily activities. Generally speaking, the pain often worsens with activity, and it usually subsides with rest. The affected area may also become swollen and tender.
nerve condition primarily affects the large nerve located in the back of the
foot. It occurs when the nerve get pinched or compressed (entrapped), causing
painful sensation (aching /burning) that may also be felt elsewhere.
the pain is commonly felt near the toes or/and in the bottom of your foot,
sometimes you may feel the pain in the heel. The pinched nerve may also cause
numbness and tingling similar those of carpal tunnel syndrome (a nerve
condition that occurs in the hand). The symptoms often get worse at night.
there are many causes that can factor into heel pain. Here are a few other
pad syndrome, a condition in which the fat pad of the heel gets thinning. This could
be a consequence of obesity and trauma (consistent pounding from running
marathon, for example). It may causes pain, typically felt in the center of the
heel. The pain gets worse if you do weight-bearing activity.
pad atrophy. As the name implies, it occurs when the fat pad of the heel is
breakdown (atrophy). When the cushioning fat of the heel doesn’t work as well,
your heel is more likely to become painful with activity during the day.
disease, which is usually found in children or teenage athletes. This bone
injury occurs when the growth plate of the heel bone, located in the lower back
of the heel, becomes inflamed.
tarsi syndrome. A condition of when a small bonny tube (the space on the outer
side of your foot between the heel bone and ankle), also called ‘sinus tarsi’,
becomes injured or damaged. A personal
history of ankle problem especially inversion ankle sprain may have a role to
increase the risk.
posture, bone bruise, calcaneal cysts, Achilles tendon rupture, and infection
might also factor into heel pain. How about gout?
not always easy to understand, though it’s common. It is a complex type of
arthritis. It can attack anyone, but some factors may make this painful
arthritis more likely. These include :
factors such as; poor diet (especially diet high in purines) and obesity.
medications may cause an increase in uric acid levels, such as; thiazide
diuretics and aspirin.
medical conditions, such as; chronic metabolic syndrome, diabetes, untreated
hypertension, kidney and heart problems.
family history of the same condition. If you have a family member who has had
gout, you’re also at high risk to develop one as well.
gender, and trauma from surgery might also have an effect to increase the risk.
amounts of uric acid, derived from purines, increases for several reasons. But
in general, it occurs when the body makes too much uric acid (from high-purine
diet and obesity, for examples) or if there is something wrong with the
mechanism of the body to get rid of excess uric acid (such as in people with
time, excess uric acid can accumulate and build up somewhere in the body,
resulting in sharp & needlelike crystals. The urate crystals that
accumulate in the joint and its surrounding structures can cause inflammation,
swelling, and pain.
needlelike crystals are likely to accumulate in the large joint of the big toe,
probably due to gravity. Therefore, gout is often found in the big toe. Joints
of knees, ankles, wrists, elbow, and fingers are other commonly affected sites
. How about the heel?
In rare cases, gout might affect the heel and cause heel pain. But heel pain is not specific symptom of gout and again it can be attributed by many factors.