Do You Suffer From Heel Pain?
Heel pain is a common condition that affects our feet. Many people will suffer for a long time, because they think the pain will go away. Unfortunately, this pain often gets worse and sometimes becomes disabling. Simple activities such as taking a few steps after getting out of bed can be quite painful. Heel pain can be located on the bottom or back of the heel.
Causes of Heel Pain
There are many possible causes of heel pain. They are generally related to increased stress on the heel from over-use, improper shoes, injuries, or a combination of factors.
One of the most common conditions is called plantar fasciitis. If you experience pain on the bottom of the heel and arch whenever you resume walking, especially first thing in the morning, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of a ligament-like band of tissue (plantar fascia) on the bottom of the heel. It is often seen in runners or active individuals who are on their feet all day, but it can occur in almost anyone. If not properly treated, the plantar fascia will continue to be strained and the condition will worsen.
Another common cause of heel pain is Achilles tendonitis. Symptoms include pain along the back of the heel and leg that occur with activities. This pain occurs when there is too much strain to the Achilles tendon. Over time, the tendon fibers may stretch or even tear near their insertion onto the heel bone. Active people with tight tendons are at risk for developing this painful inflammation. Please read our blog for more facts about Achilles tendonitis.
Treatment for Heel Pain
The podiatrists at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists will perform a thorough exam of your feet that may include an x-ray. Once the exact cause of your heel pain is determined, a specific treatment plan will be discussed.
Most heel pain will temporarily improve with rest. Anti-inflammatory medications may initially be prescribed to decrease pain and inflammation of the structures around the heel. It is also important to minimize stress on the heel. This can be accomplished with supportive shoes and custom orthotics. If indicated, a steroid injection may provide the quickest path to relief. Additional therapies such as night splints, walking boots, and physical therapy may be required in severe or chronic cases.
Please visit our blog to see the top 10 tips for preventing heel pain.