Heel Pain

An athlete holds their heel in pain

WHAT CONSTITUTES HEEL PAIN

Heel pain can be caused by a variety of different factors. As such, it is best to have a doctor or podiatrist diagnose heel pain to ensure that you use the proper treatment methods. Doctors will often use MRIs, x-rays, and bone scans to determine the exact cause of heel pain.

These methods are to determine whether heel pain is caused by a spur, which has similar symptoms as heel pain.

CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF HEEL PAIN

The most common symptoms of heel pain include pain in the bottom of the heel that is more pronounced when you wake up or stand up, or pain that increases over a period of a few months. Obesity is another common cause of heel pain that can most easily be treated with healthy weight loss.

People with plantar fasciitis (pain in the band of tissue from the toes to the heel) have worse pain in the mornings but find that walking helps alleviate the pain. However, sometimes the pain gets worse the longer you are on your feet. Generally plantar fasciitis occurs in people with flat feet or have high arches which puts more pressure on the tendon between the heel and the toes. Other causes of plantar fasciitis include wearing non-supportive shoes on flat, hard surfaces which places excess strain on the foot. 

LET US HELP YOU

There are a number of different treatments for heel pain that are determined by the cause of the pain.

The first step to help relieve heel pain is stretching exercises, placing ice packs on the heel to reduce inflammation, exercise the calf muscle, wearing supportive shoes, and anti-inflammatory drugs. If this doesn't help with the pain then the next step is to use orthotic devices, support or straps to help support the foot correctly, and in some cases injection therapy with corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and inflammation.

Other options include walking casts, night splints, and physical therapy. Surgery is often not needed unless none of the other treatments work.

It is important to remember that when measures are taken to reduce heel pain that you must keep taking precautions to prevent symptoms from returning.
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