Have you been experiencing pain in your heels? It can be a dull ache or a sharp pain that comes and goes. If you experience heel pain regularly, it is worth getting evaluated by a podiatrist. Your podiatrist can help you determine the cause of your heel pain as well as help you to establish a treatment plan that works for your specific needs.
Many conditions can cause heel pain symptoms. One of the most common conditions is plantar fasciitis. This is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament that runs from the heel bone to the tip of the foot. This pain is often felt after long periods of rest and is typically on the underside of the foot, sometimes traveling to the middle of the foot.
Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the tendon that connects that calf to your heel bone. This injury is common in runners or athletes. Pain is usually located above the heel and in the back of the leg and may be more severe after long periods of rest. While many cases of Achilles tendinitis can be treated at home, there is a risk of the tendon weakening over time and eventually tearing. This is very painful and requires surgical repair.
Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa, a sac of fluid in the heel. This can be caused by overuse of the ankle. This condition is often linked to Achilles tendinitis, and bursitis has sometimes been mistaken for Achilles tendinitis. Bursitis can cause warm, red skin on the back of the heel, and pain is typically felt at the back of the heel while walking or running.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Heel Pain
Your podiatrist will take a complete medical history, including existing health conditions and medications. An evaluation will be done to determine the cause of your specific heel pain. Your podiatrist may make recommendations that include, but are not limited to- NSAID pain relievers, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, or assistive devices such as orthotics. If necessary, your podiatrist may recommend Stem Cell Recruitment Therapy. An ultrasound-assisted injection is administered to the heel to relieve pain and increase mobility in joints. This is an outpatient procedure with minimal side effects. Rare, severe, and chronic pain cases may benefit from surgery.
Prevention of Heel Pain
The best way to prevent heel pain is to reduce the stress on your feet and tendons. Maintain a healthy weight to reduce stress on the heels. Choose footwear contains shock-absorbing material or consider adding heel pads to your existing footwear. Make sure that your shoes fit properly and are not worn down in the soles. Finally, if you participate in sports, make sure that you are warming up correctly and alternate between high-impact activities and low-impact activities.
There are many conditions that may be causing your heel pain. While some cases may be treated at home, it is always best to have your condition diagnosed by a medical professional. At 1 Foot 2 Foot, we have treated over 30,000 patients since opening our doors in 2006. Our dedicated team of podiatrists and clinical staff is ready to help you too. Schedule your appointment online today, and we will get you on the path to pain-free feet.