Heel pain can be something that affects everything you do. From even just standing or walking to running and working, heel pain can stay with you every step of the way. However, not all heel pain is the same. Check out this comprehensive guide to heel pain, and find out what’s causing your discomfort.
What Causes Heel Pain?
There are several reasons why you may be experiencing heel pain. It could be due to an injury, such as a stress fracture or Achilles tendonitis. Or, it could be a result of a medical condition, such as arthritis or gout. Additionally, wearing ill-fitting shoes or spending long periods of time on your feet can also contribute to heel pain.
In more detail, let’s look at some of the most common causes of heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, becomes inflamed. This condition is often the result of overuse and is particularly common in runners.
When the Achilles tendon, the large tendon that runs down the back of your leg, becomes inflamed, it’s known as Achilles tendonitis. This condition is also an overuse injury and can be extremely painful. The good news is, Achilles tendonitis often responds well to treatment.
Heel spurs are bony growths that form on the heel bone. They’re often the result of plantar fasciitis and can be quite painful. Symptoms of heel spurs include sharp pain in the heel, particularly when you walk or stand, and a dull ache that is present all the time.
Haglund’s deformity is a bony growth that forms on the back of the heel. This condition can be pretty painful and is often the result of wearing shoes that are too tight. You can also develop Haglund’s deformity if you have high heels that rub against the back of your heel.
Sever’s disease is a condition that occurs in children who are going through a growth spurt. It’s characterized by pain in the heel and is often the result of overuse. Sever’s disease usually goes away on its own and does not cause any long-term problems.
How to Treat Heel Pain
Heel pain is often the result of an injury to the heel bone or the soft tissues attached to it. Treatment depends on the type of heel pain you are experiencing. Take a look at some of the common treatments for heel pain below.
This is the most essential treatment for heel pain. The best way to allow your heel to heal is to avoid putting any weight on it. This means you should not stand, walk, or run on your heel. You may need to use crutches or a wheelchair to help you stay off your heel.
OTC Pain Medication
Over-the-counter pain medication can help to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with heel pain. Commonly used medications include ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy
EPAT shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses sound waves to stimulate healing in the heel. It is often used for chronic heel pain that has not responded to other treatments, and it has been shown to be effective in some cases.
Custom orthotics can help to reduce the stress on your heel and relieve pain. The orthotics should be designed specifically for you and your foot structure.
MLS Laser Therapy
MLS laser therapy is a new treatment that uses laser energy to reduce pain and inflammation. It is a promising treatment for heel pain, and it can be done in a series of treatments.
If your heel pain is caused by an injury or condition that weakens the muscles, physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles and reduce pain. Physical therapy can also help to improve flexibility and range of motion.
In rare cases, as a last resort, surgery may be recommended to release the pressure on the heel bone or to remove a bone spur. Surgery also may be needed to correct a deformity or to fuse bones.
Contact Us Today
If you are experiencing heel pain, Hicksville Podiatry can help! Our friendly and experienced team will diagnose your condition, provide you with treatment options, and work with you to ensure you are on the road to recovery. Call (516) 806-2200 or fill out our contact form right on our website to schedule an appointment!