Posts for tag: Heel Pain
Heel pain is a common foot problem that podiatrists often treat. Knowing the cause of your pain is important in determining the most effective treatment method. Even if the pain seems minor, it’s amazing how much it can affect your whole body, making it difficult to get out of bed let alone go on your regular run. If you are struggling with heel pain you might be dealing with a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The source of your pain may originate in the plantar fascia, a tough band of connective tissue that connects your toes to your feet. If the fascia becomes inflamed, you may feel pain in your heel. Of course, everything from wearing high heels to long runs can actually irritate and cause inflammation within the plantar fascia. When this happens this is known as plantar fasciitis. This condition is usually the result of overuse and repeated stress rather than an injury.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain that originates at the bottom of the heel below the heel bone. The pain may spread to the arches of the feet and may also be accompanied by stiffness. These symptoms are often exacerbated first thing in the morning or after long bouts of sitting or standing. Sometimes, light activity and exercise can momentarily lessen the pain.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
If you know that you have plantar fasciitis (perhaps you’ve had it before) then you know it’s important to rest, avoid physical activity, and take over-the-counter pain relievers. Of course, if you’ve never experienced heel pain before it’s important to see a podiatrist to find out whether it’s plantar fasciitis or another condition such as heel spurs or Achilles tendonitis. A thorough evaluation from a medical professional is often necessary, especially if this is the first time dealing with heel pain.
Your podiatrist can also show you stretching and strengthening exercises that you can perform to help stretch the plantar fascia to reduce pain and discomfort. Some patients also choose to wear a night splint to reduce morning stiffness and arch pain.
If your symptoms aren’t being alleviated through conservative treatment methods or if you are experiencing chronic heel pain your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
If you are dealing with stubborn and painful heels turn to a podiatrist for a consultation.
Heel pain is a common problem seen here at Colorado Foot and Ankle in Colorado Springs, and considering how much time we spend on our feet, it's no wonder! Fortunately, our podiatry team of Dr. Jacob Fassman, Dr. Bryan Groth, and Dr. Eric Gessner are committed to helping patients overcome heel pain.
Read on to learn about two of the most common causes of heel pain—plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis
Causes of heel pain
Heel pain is often a symptom of two separate conditions: plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. The location of the pain can be a clear indicator as to which one your Colorado Springs podiatrist may diagnose.
- Pain that affects the back of the heel is often associated with Achilles tendonitis, an inflammation of the large tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel. People who run or play sports that require quick start-and-stop movements, such as basketball or tennis, are subject to injuring their Achilles tendon.
- Runners can also be affected by plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation or disintegration of the ligament that runs along the arch of each foot. People who are obese or do a lot of daily standing for their jobs may also be at risk for developing plantar fasciitis.
Treatment for heel pain
The good news is that most people who have heel pain from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis usually respond well to conservative treatment, meaning there's no need for surgery. Reducing your activity, taking time to prop the foot up during rest, and making sure to stretch before any exercise can help promote healing in the affected area. Your Colorado Springs podiatrist may also recommend shoe inserts to redistribute the weight on your heel and provide cushioned support. These inserts are custom-made by your podiatrist to accommodate the special needs of your foot.
Need relief? Give us a call
To find out what's causing your heel pain and get back on your feet, contact Colorado Foot and Ankle in Colorado Springs to make an appointment with Dr. Fassman, Dr. Gessner, or Dr. Groth today! Our number is (719) 475-8080.
Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist
- Wear shoes that fit well
- Wear proper shoes for each activity
- Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
- Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
- Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
- Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
- Lose excess weight
Are you dealing with heel pain? If so, you aren’t alone. Foot pain, particularly heel pain, is one of the most common complaints and most people will deal with pain at some point during their lifetime. Whether you are on your feet all day for work or you are a runner, there are many risk factors that can play into your likelihood to deal with heel pain. If heel pain is happening to you, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can get rid of the pain quickly.
Causes of Heel Pain
As you might imagine, there are many reasons why you might be experiencing heel pain. The root cause will also determine the best course of action for getting your symptoms under control while providing the optimal healing environment for a speedy recovery.
The most common cause of heel pain is an acute inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis, in which the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Of course, there are other reasons people experience heel pain. Other causes include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Stress fracture
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Heel spur
- Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
- Page’s disease of bone
- Peripheral neuropathy
Heel Pain Treatment Options
For more mild-to-moderate cases of heel pain, your podiatrist may recommend simple conservative treatment options that you can incorporate into your daily routine from the comfort of home. This is usually the first course of action, unless the condition is more serious. Only once we’ve exhausted at-home care and pain is still present do we decide on more aggressive tactics for handling your symptoms.
Common at-home heel pain treatment options include:
- OTC pain relievers (e.g. ibuprofen)
- Icing the heel several times a day
- Bracing or splinting the foot
- Wearing custom orthotics (shoe inserts)
- Wearing protective and supportive shoes
- Resting and avoiding certain activities or high-impact exercises
If you’ve tried these treatment options for weeks and still don’t notice any change in your symptoms—or if symptoms get worse—then it’s time to visit your foot doctor again to determine the next step. If pain and swelling are severe we may recommend steroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or ultrasound therapy. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the imbalance, deformity, or problem that’s causing your chronic or severe heel pain.
Don’t let heel pain affect your day-to-day life when there are simple and easy solutions to manage your symptoms and promote faster healing. Turn to a podiatrist who will be able to handle your heel pain and get your foot health back on track.
Does your heel hurt but you don't know why? Although heel pain can occur for many reasons, it's often caused by a few common foot conditions. Dr. Eric Gessner, Dr. Bryan Groth, and Dr. Jacob Fassman of Colorado Foot and Ankle help Colorado Springs, CO, residents manage heel pain and other foot and ankle conditions.
Have you stepped on a hard object?
Heel pain doesn't necessarily mean that you have a serious foot condition. For example, it's surprising how much your heel can hurt if you happen to step on a rock, stray toy, or another hard object. After you step on the object, a painful bruise may form in the layer of fat that cushions the bottom of your foot. Known as metatarsalgia, or "stone" bruise, the condition can also occur if you run, jog, or walk in shoes that don't provide enough cushioning for your heel. In most cases, pain from a stone bruise goes away if you stay off your feet as much as possible for a week or two.
Did the pain occur after an accident?
An auto accident or jump or fall can cause a heel fracture. Although the pain may be severe, that's not always the case. If your pain appeared shortly after an injury, call your Colorado Springs foot doctor as soon as possible.
Is the pain worse when you first wake up?
You may have plantar fasciitis if you experience sharp, stabbing pains when you take your first steps in the morning. The foot condition occurs when the layer of connective tissue that connects your heels to your toes becomes inflamed. Other symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain after sitting or being inactive for a while or heel pain following exercise.
Do you feel the pain in the back of your heel?
Pain at the back of the heel can be caused by inflammation of your retrocalcaneal bursa or your Achilles tendon. In addition to pain, symptoms may include swelling and tenderness. Because retrocalcaneal bursitis and Achilles tendinitis have similar symptoms, it's important to schedule an appointment with your podiatrist to determine the cause of your pain.
End your heel pain with a visit to the foot doctor. Call our Colorado Springs, CO, podiatrists--Dr. Gessner, Dr. Groth, and Dr. Fassman of Colorado Foot and Ankle--at (719) 475-8080 to schedule your appointment.