Heel Pain Treatment Options Today
Heel pain may be the result of multiple medical conditions but is typically linked to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Thankfully, it can usually be remedied with conservative treatments and remedies; however if your symptoms worsen or don’t improve over time, further investigation should follow.
Heel pain may arise without any obvious reason, yet several factors can increase your risk of suffering from heel discomfort. These include:
- Exercising with tight calves or heels.
- Overspreading the bottom of your foot.
- Squeezing into shoes that are too small or lack cushioning and arch support.
- Occupations and pastimes that require prolonged periods of standing.
- Sudden weight gain or obesity.
- A sudden increase in exercise intensity.
- Deterioration due to aging.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Heel Pain
To manage heel pain, the type and intensity of your condition are essential considerations. In cases where symptoms aren’t too severe, self-care treatments may be an effective solution. If the pain persists or these at-home techniques do not help diminish discomfort levels, you should consult with a doctor right away for further medical advice.
If you are experiencing intense pain and swelling, are incapable of bending your foot or walking correctly, and have heel pain partnered with a fever in addition to numbness or tingling sensations around the heel area, you must see your doctor right away.
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Heel pain caused by conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis can frequently be managed with conservative approaches, including R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) along with analgesic drugs for relief:
- To alleviate symptoms, it is important to get sufficient rest and avoid strenuous activities that may worsen the pain. Taking a few days off from physical exertion can make all the difference in providing relief.
- For Achilles tendonitis, applying compression and elevating the inflamed foot with an elastic bandage or wrap can assist in reducing swelling and immobilizing the joint.
- To ease the discomfort of plantar fasciitis, frequently utilize an ice pack for no more than 20 minutes every 2-3 hours. Release of any numbness occurs. You can also roll your foot over a cold or frozen water bottle to help relieve pain from this condition.
- Pain management is essential to your overall health and well-being, which is why ibuprofen and naproxen are powerful medications that offer fast relief from pain while also reducing inflammation.
Orthotic insoles are not only effective in reducing and even eliminating heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, but they also help to correctly align the feet while providing cushioning and support. Should a gait or structural problem be present, custom-made orthotics prescribed by a podiatrist can provide far more accurate results.
Related: 9 Best Home Remedies for Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis
To achieve lasting relief from pain and improve performance, your doctor may suggest an ultrasound-guided injection such as a steroid one. Utilizing ultrasound technology to ensure the needle is accurately injected into its intended area, you can rest assured that it will be successful in providing much-needed symptom alleviation.
Physical therapy is an effective solution for the many causes of heel pain, particularly when due to tight muscles in the calves and feet. Exercise can help stretch and reinforce both your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon while also boosting flexibility in your calf muscles so you can experience relief from discomfort or stiffness. As part of physical therapy, some helpful treatments may include:
- Manual therapy such as joint mobilization
- Hot and cold therapy
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- Guided stretching, strength, and endurance exercises
If treatment for heel pain fails to produce results, surgery may be your only recourse. The operation that you need will depend on the severity of your condition and could involve any one or more of the following:
- Arthroscopic surgery, an advanced minimally-invasive procedure, has been used to accurately identify and treat a variety of issues with the ankle joint.
- Reconstructing a ruptured Achilles tendon, the operation of repairing an Achilles tendon repair surgery can restore and reattach the torn tissue.
- Fracture repair surgery.
- To alleviate strain on a nerve, excise a heel spur, or manage an inflamed tendon – surgery is the perfect solution.
Frequently Asked Questions when having heel pain
Is heel pain a sign of cancer?
Although heel pain can be a rare sign of cancer, it is far more likely that the condition has other causes. Therefore, if you are experiencing this type of discomfort in your heels, please visit an experienced healthcare professional for a comprehensive examination and diagnosis.
What does it mean when your heels hurt all the time?
If you’re experiencing heel pain, the only way to pinpoint its true cause is via a medical diagnosis from your doctor.
When should you see a doctor for heel pain?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, your heel pain may be caused by a more serious medical ailment and should not be ignored. It is important to contact your doctor immediately if you have:
- Intense discomfort and inflammation
- Unbearable agony ensuing from an injury
- Struggling with mobility issues
- Inability to point your foot towards the ground or lift it up on its toes.
How long does it take for heel pain to go away?
Even cases of the most extreme heel pain can be remedied with proper care! We’ve found that, in general, three months is enough time to see dramatic improvement from your initial consultation at our office. Plus, an overwhelming majority of those we treat (97%) experience relief within six short months.
Are Heel Pain and Back Pain Related?
Heel and back pain can be linked due to improper foot alignment. When the feet are misaligned, pronated, or collapsed, it can result in both heel and back pain. Taking preventative steps such as wearing supportive footwear is critical to avoiding this agonizing duo of discomfort.
In conclusion, heel pain can be a debilitating condition that can greatly impact your quality of life. However, with the right care and treatment from experts in the field, you can gain relief from your discomfort and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Depending on the cause and severity of your heel pain, there are various options available for treatment including physical therapy, manual therapy, massage, hot and cold therapy, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, traction, guided stretching and strength exercises as well as potential surgery. It is important to seek medical advice from a professional if you experience any symptoms of heel pain in order to start the appropriate treatment plan for your specific condition.