Heel Pain: Achilles Tendonitis vs. Plantar Fasciitis

The most common causes of heel pain are Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Only a physician can properly diagnose your heel pain. However, you can learn more about the differences and some at-home remedies that may relieve your pain.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a result of strain on the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Strain on the tendon may be a result of a sudden increase in intensity or duration of exercise. As we age, the Achilles tendon tends to naturally weaken, so Achilles tendonitis is also common in older adults who play any type of sport. Heel pain associated with Achilles tendonitis can be difficult to live with—the Achilles tendon plays a very important role in movement and is used during walking, running, jumping, or standing on the balls of feet.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a result of pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is most common in people aged 40-60 that engage in strenuous exercises. The condition can also be triggered by being flat-footed, having a high foot arch, being obese, or spending extended time standing on hard surfaces.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is sharp heel pain with first steps in the morning, which decreases throughout the day as you walk and/or stretch. Plantar fasciitis pain may return after long periods of sitting or standing.

Achilles Tendonitis vs. Plantar Fasciitis

The main differences between Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis are where the pain is located and whether or not the pain gets worse throughout the day. Achilles tendonitis mainly causes pain at the back of the heel and pain tends to get worse during activity. Plantar fasciitis causes pain on the bottom of the heel in the morning, which tends to get better with activity.

Treating Your Heel Pain

Most cases of Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis can be easily treated through at-home remedies like wearing supportive shoes, stretching, icing the area, over-the-counter medications like Advil, and decreasing activity that causes pain. However, if your heel pain continues, you may benefit from a new treatment called Tenex Health TX™, now available at Minneapolis Vein Center. Learn more about Tenex Health TX on our website or by calling our team at 763-398-8710.

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