Find out more about your heel pain and what might be going on.
Have you recently been rubbing your sore, painful heels? If so, you may be wondering what’s going on. Heel pain is a common problem our Sparks, NV, podiatrists Dr. Douglas Doxey and Dr. L. Bruce Ford see in their patients and there are several reasons why this might be happening.
If you want to provide your feet with the most effective treatment possible then it should go without saying that you will need to get an accurate diagnosis first. This means coming into our office for an evaluation if you are dealing with heel pain.
The two most common causes of heel pain include:
Plantar fasciitis: This condition is characterized by micro-tears in the plantar fascia tissue. The plantar fascia tissue runs the length of the feet along the soles. When these microtears develop this leads to inflammation and pain located under the heels and also along the arches.
Achilles tendonitis: Both overuse and trauma can lead to inflammation of the Achilles tendon, better known as Achilles tendonitis. This is the largest and strongest tendon in the body and it’s located right above the heel, and connects the calf to the heel bone. If you notice pain at the back of the heel chances are good that it could be Achilles tendinitis.
Other causes of heel pain include:
- A stress fracture
- Heel bursitis
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
When to See a Doctor
If you aren’t sure what is going on and why you are experiencing heel pain then it’s better to play it safe and visit our Sparks, NV, foot doctor for a proper diagnosis. Only then can we create the right treatment plan for you. It’s time to visit us if your heel pain is severe, persistent, makes it difficult to put weight on the foot, or if there are signs of infection (e.g. redness; warm to the touch; fever).
Treating Heel Pain
Both plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis can often be treated effectively with simple home care. It’s important that you rest and avoid high-impact exercises (e.g. running), which can make the problem worse. The goal of at-home care will be to reduce your symptoms until the microtears have healed and the inflammation is gone. Ways to treat your heel pain include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Exercises and stretches
- Wearing orthotics and supportive shoes
If symptoms persist for over a week or get worse then we may need to consider other treatment options. If heel pain is severe or recurring other ways to treat the issue include:
- Shockwave therapy
- Steroid Injections
- Surgery for severe cases
No matter whether you have just noticed heel pain or symptoms aren’t going away with at-home care, it’s important that you have a podiatric team you can turn to when you need it most. Call Foot & Ankle Institute of Nevada in Sparks, NV, today to find out how we can help you.