Heel Pain & Your Options For Treating It
Are you looking for a way to put an end to your heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis and bone spurs? Fortunately, a podiatrist can be of great help in treating this critical condition so that you may go back to living life as usual. Though the care plan varies from person to person based on individual needs, there are several management strategies such as at-home or in-office visits that your heel pain doctor might be able to provide. To learn more about treatments for heel pain, keep reading!
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain can take on many forms, from an aching sensation to feeling like you are stepping onto a pebble or nail. Regardless of how it feels, this discomfort can have far-reaching effects in your day-to-day life.
Heel pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
- Plantar fasciitis is an irritating condition where the fibrous band located on the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed and tender. This tissue runs from your heel to the toes, creating a bridge across the arch of your foot.
- Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the thick fibrous cord connecting your calf and heel, causing pain in that area.
- Haglund’s deformity is an easily distinguishable bump located at the back of one’s heel.
- Excessive strain can lead to worrisome stress fractures and bone cracks.
- Traumatic bone bruises, which are caused by a hard hit to an arm or leg, often result in the swelling of fluid at the impacted site.
- A gout is a form of arthritis that manifests through increased uric acid levels in the toe joints.
Beyond other potential causes, most heel pain is treated effectively with non-invasive therapies. To get the appropriate podiatric care plan going, visit your foot specialist who can assess your symptoms and medical history through digital imaging and manual inspection of the affected area. This will allow them to make a proper diagnosis as well as determine what treatments may work best for you.
Heel pain can be caused by a variety of risk factors, which include:
- having tight calf muscles
- having high arches
- running excessively
- being an older adult
- carrying extra weight
- having a job that requires a lot of standing or walking
- having low arches
When to contact a doctor
If your heel pain persists for more than two weeks or if any of the following occur, be sure to reach out to a doctor:
- severe pain with swelling near the heel
- pain, numbness, or tingling in the heel, as well as fever
- difficulty walking as usual
- difficulty bending the foot downward or tiptoeing
- In the event, that heel pain persists beyond one week or continues when not standing or walking, it is essential to consult a medical professional.
During an appointment with a doctor, they will thoroughly investigate the foot and inquire about any discomfort experienced. Questions may also be asked regarding their lifestyle such as how much walking is done on a daily basis and what kind of footwear are using. Additionally, the physician will seek to gain insight into your medical history.
Starting with the knee, your doctor will assess the muscles and be on alert for any discrepancies in texture or shape. This examination can help distinguish between a tumor, psoriasis, or any other existing health condition.
With a precise diagnosis, the chances for successful treatment are much higher.
Effective Treatments for Heel Pain
To prevent heel pain in the first place, your podiatrist urges all patients to sport well-crafted shoes with arch and heel support as well as adequate toe space. Additionally, try avoiding high heels that put an excessive amount of pressure on each extremity. It’s also essential to maintain a healthy body weight for optimal foot care!
In addition, you may want to try some easy treatments at home:
- For pain relief, consider reaching for an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen when necessary.
- Prior to your workout, remember to stretch out the calf muscles and plantar fascia located in each foot’s arch.
- To reduce your pain and swelling, follow the RICE technique: rest, ice to cool down the area, wrap it with a compression bandage for extra support, and elevate the foot.
- To prevent undue pressure on the heels, it is advisable to abstain from activities such as running.
Ultimately, your podiatrist may recommend a few of these in-office treatments.
- Through injection therapy, an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid medication is injected directly into the affected area to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Physical therapy consists of exercises, stretching, massaging, heat and ice therapies, and other treatments to help heal the body.
- Electric Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) sends sound waves to your heel and surrounding connective tissues, reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and breaking down calcium deposits. By using this treatment method, you can quickly experience relief from pain in the heels without any invasive surgeries or treatments.
- As a last line of defense, surgery is often employed to rectify issues pertaining to the Achilles tendon, plantar fascia, or heel spurs.
In conclusion, heel pain can be caused by a variety of risk factors. If your heel pain persists for more than two weeks or if any severe symptoms occur, make sure to seek medical attention. A precise diagnosis is essential in order to receive the most effective treatment plan. There are various treatments available ranging from taking over-the-counter medications, stretching exercises, physical therapy, and even surgery. With the right treatment plan, you can reduce your heel pain and get back to living an active lifestyle once again!
Take care of your feet and be sure to consult with a doctor if any discomfort persists. Keep moving forward knowing that relief is on its way!