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Heel and ankle pain is not only very uncomfortable, but can also be surprisingly difficult to treat. Typically, the main causes of heel and ankle pain include strains or sprains, plantar fasciitis, and stress fractures. The difficulty in treating these conditions lies in the fact that reliance on walking is essential for performing everyday tasks, and thus the injury in question often does not have adequate amounts of time to heel properly.
One of the most common causes of heel and ankle pain is a strain to one of the muscles of this area of the body. Throughout the course of the day, individuals are constantly putting high amounts of stress on both the heels and ankles, and therefore it is no surprise that they will sometimes twist or turn this part of the body, causing a severe and often painful strain. In addition, people who have suffered one strain or sprain to this area typically are at a higher risk of suffering subsequent injuries. An individual who is concerned about the development of a ankle or heel sprain or strain should be sure to wear shoes that are highly supportive.
Another common cause of heel and ankle pain is associated with plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis develops when the plantar fascia, which is a tendon that connects the bones of the toes to the heel, becomes inflamed. This often causes severe pain along the heel, and is typically the worst in the morning when this tendon has been relaxed all night and then must immediately stretch during standing and walking. Often, as the person suffering from this condition becomes more active, the pain associated with the condition diminishes significantly. Individuals who are concerned about the development of plantar fasciitis should consider scheduling an appointment with a physical therapist, as he or she should be able to prescribe exercises and stretches to remedy the condition.
Stress fractures are another common cause of both heel and ankle pain, and are most often experienced by individuals who are highly active, especially in sports such as jogging, walking, tennis, or other activities that are highly repetitive and require the athlete to put high amounts of stress on the bones and joints of the feet and lower body. Symptoms of stress fractures of the heel or ankle typically include pain whenever weight is placed on the foot in question. Often, the only form of treatment for stress fractures include complete rest for a significant period of time, allowing the fractured bone to heal completely.