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Here are the common types of heel injuries

Common Heel Injuries From Running

It might come as a shock to some, but heel injuries are prevalent if running is your everyday habit. Yes, you keep your health fit by running once or twice a day but overusing your heels or running excessively can cause several heel injuries.

Most runners have extreme routines where they do stretches and have set some miles to achieve per day. They are more prone to getting a heel injury. These are also known as overuse injuries caused by an individual making repetitive movements.

Let’s get into the common heel injuries that occur due to running.


The Common Heel Injuries From Running

We’ve listed down the common heel injuries that occur due to running below – it usually begins from mild pain but then gradually becomes more severe if not taken seriously.


Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon helps to join your calf muscles with the back of your heel bone, which is known as the calcaneus. When the tendon develops irritation and gets swollen, it is called tendonitis. The symptoms then start showing up that can be mild to immense heel pain, redness of the skin in that area, or swelling a little above the heel. The entire area can also become highly stiff for some runners, restricting movement.

Even though this heel condition can develop in an everyday runner, it is mainly found in runners. Since this condition limits the blood flow, it can be slow to heal. If the symptoms are mild, they can become better with rest, but if they get worse, surgery might be advised.


Heel (retrocalcaneal) bursitis

The more you run, walk or jump, the condition can get severe. When there is constant pain and a feeling of tenderness and swelling at the vertebral of the heel, this is a clear sign of inflammation of the retrocalcaneal bursa. A bursa is a small-sized pouch that forms holding liquid and serves as a lubricant between the Achilles muscle and heel bone.

The symptoms are similar to Achilles tendonitis, but there are slight differences, and a runner/athlete can have both concurrently. When Achilles tendonitis is not treated or when runners ignore their heel condition, thinking the pain will disappear in a few days, it turns into retrocalcaneal bursitis.


Heel Spurs

It is common to develop bone spurs on almost any type of bone in the body, including the heel. The symptoms, however, vary depending on the type of heel spur. Two aching heel states are formed due to bone spurs:

  • Heel spur disorder: this is a condition where there is a bone spur at the base of your heel. Individuals with a foot condition known as plantar fasciitis have higher chances of developing this heel spur syndrome. It is also known as calcaneal spurs.

 It occurs when the bones react to all the stress your body is getting, such as

  • Putting too much pressure on your foot muscular tissue and tendons
  • Going above the average stretch level, especially with the plantar front
  • Constant tear of the delicate lining of your heel bone
  • Insertional Achilles tendinitis: This is linked with the bone spurs at the backbone of your heel, the area where the Achilles muscle attaches with the bone.

The bone outgrowth irritates the Achilles tendon, resulting in more injury and discomfort. Moreover, the inflamed/injured part of the Achilles tendon tends to become stiff.


  • The best way to cure this is to take a break from running – when you feel better, take it slow and run at a steady rate on alternate days.
  • Heel inserts or an extra sole that’ll help reduce the pressure going to the heel can relax your calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
  • Get into the habit of massaging that area.
  • Get shoes that offer great support.
  • Seek professional help if the problems seem to worsen by the day.

Marion County Podiatry can help you with all your foot, ankle, and heel issues if you still have signs of heel pain, foot pain, or a runner’s heel. Visit their website or call them at (352)-351-4444/ (352)-873-3332.

Carl M. Salvati, DPM
Carl M. Salvati, DPM completed a three year podiatric medical and surgical residency with reconstructive rearfoot and ankle training at Westside Regional Medical Center in Plantation, FL. During his time in residency, Dr Salvati had extensive experience in trauma, arthroscopy, diabetic limb salvage, and elective lower extremity procedures. He has an undergraduate BS BA degree from the University of Florida where he graduated cum laude and was a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. He received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine in Miami, Florida. Dr. Salvati participated in various charitable endeavors including the Yucatan Crippled Children’s Project in Mexico. He is board certified by the American board of Podiatric Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Podiatric Medicine. He is also board certified in the sub-specialty of Amputation Prevention and Wound Care by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. He has been Certified as a Wound Care Specialist Physician by the American Board of Wound Management. Dr Salvati is a dedicated and compassionate physician with extensive surgical and medical experience.

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