Diabetic heel pain is a condition associated with foot ailments in Diabetics. Individuals who have had Diabetes Mellitus for several years normally develop complications that can affect any part of the body, but symptoms in the heel can cause considerable problems. The symptoms stem from Diabetic Neuropathy, or nerve damage, caused by excess sugar in the bloodstream.

When food is consumed, the digestive system breaks down the food into smaller molecules, such as glucose, that pass into the bloodstream. Insulin should bind to the sugar and transfer it into other tissues for use as fuel, but this step does not take place. Either type 1 or Type 2 Diabetics do not produce adequate amounts of insulin or their body is resistant to the insulin that is produced. Therefore, the insulin does not remove the sugar, which then acts like a poison and is a detriment to all tissues and organs.

This scenario occurs frequently in people with Diabetes, so after many years,theywill suffer some degree of nerve damage. According to data from the 2011 National Fact Sheet, almost 70% of people with Diabetes have Diabetic Neuropathy and of these people, many experience Diabetic heel pain.


Diabetic Heel Pain – Internal


Diabetic heel pain can consist of pain from the inside mechanisms of the foot or it can be an external affliction. Bones, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue are also prone to trauma from nerve damage as well as subsequent poor circulation. A type of Diabetic Neuropathy called Peripheral Neuropathy is the most common form of nerve damage in Diabetics. This condition begins with damage at the lumbar region, but the pain radiates into the feet. A person may experience burning, throbbing, tingling, or shooting pains in the heel of the feet. An individual may be sensitive to touch, temperature changes, and infections, as well as have marked pain while walking. This condition can make even standing still extraordinarily painful.


Diabetic Heel Pain – External


Diabetic heel pain can also be from another type of nerve damage called Mononeuropathy, which targets a specific nerve in the body, and can cause pain as well as partial paralysis. Defective nerves in the heel can do more than just cause pain. If a person cannot feel his or her heel, then the likelihood of trauma to the foot is increased. For example, an individual may be unaware of an infection on the foot. Ulcers are likely to present as a simple skin condition. It can quickly progress to a severe condition in which the entire foot, including the bones, muscles, and tissues inside are covered in gangrene. At that point, the foot will need to be amputated. Due to these factors, it is very important for Diabetics to inspect their heels and feet regularly for any sign of infection.