Heel pain is arguably the most common foot problem podiatrists deal with today. Typically the root cause of this heel pain is the condition known as plantar fasciitis – a condition caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia. However, there are a variety of other conditions that can result in heel pain, one being nerve entrapment.
Calcaneal Nerve Entrapment
Calcaneal Nerve Entrapment is a medical problem that can result in heel pain. There is a specific nerve known as the calcaneal nerve that runs under the inside of the heel. Sometimes this nerve can become entrapped and cause a burning pain on the underside of the heel. This pain is similar to the pain experienced by a plantar fasciitis sufferer, though heel pain from nerve entrapment will not get worse in the morning.
It seems odd that this nerve would become trapped under the inside of the heel, however it happens. It is most common among those that over pronate while walking or running. In addition, excess pressure from shoes can cause the nerve to become entrapped, resulting in serious heel pain. For this reason, this injury is common among athletes.
Diagnosing your foot problems may be difficult given the similarity of many of conditions. However, heel pain resulting from nerve entrapment does have specific symptoms. In particular, the pain from nerve entrapment is a burning sensation. It is usually worse at night. And individuals will notice that it is extremely tender where the nerve has become entrapped.
Since heel pain is common with many different foot injuries, nerve entrapment is diagnosed by numbing the area on the heel that feels the most tender. If this anesthetic makes the pain disappear, then the heel pain is most likely due to nerve entrapment.
In order to treat the heel pain caused by nerve entrapment, you have to relieve the pressure on the nerve. Sometimes changing your shoes will help. However, other times, you might need to invest in pads for the feet to help decrease the pressure on the nerve. In addition, some people try cortisone injections. And, if necessary, surgical decompression may be an option.