Studies have shown that almost 10% of people will experience heel pain at some point. This common ailment can take a toll on everyday activities and keep you off your feet. Luckily, with help from your Chandler, AZ podiatrist, you can find a treatment option and beat heel pain for good.
What causes heel pain?
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. This condition causes the band of muscles that connects the heel to the bone to become thickened and inflamed. Damage from trauma from activities like running or dancing can cause plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can also occur gradually from everyday wear and tear, progressing slowly over time.
Other conditions that can contribute to heel pain include:
- achilles tendonitis
- bone spurs
- pinched nerves
- problems with the fat pads on the bottom of your feet
- rheumatoid arthritis
- stress fractures
What are the treatments for heel pain?
In many cases, simple changes to the shoes you wear can help relieve heel pain. Be sure to wear shoes that are comfortable and fit correctly, especially if you are an athlete. Often, staying off your feet for as long as possible and icing problem areas can give your feet time to heal, eliminating the problem on their own. Certain stretches and exercises strengthen muscles to prevent further damage. Additionally, over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen reduce pain and swelling from the inside out.
Your doctor may prescribe orthotics, or special inserts, to wear in your shoes that help balance the pressure on the foot. Night splints are also useful in some cases to realign muscles and joints. When these solutions do not work, cortisone injections can be utilized to reduce inflammation. In severe cases, surgery may be required. Surgery can be open surgery or performed with an endoscope through small incisions. Shockwave therapy is also an option for treating heel pain.
You should see your doctor when your heel pain becomes severe or you are unable to walk. Heel pain accompanied by fever or numbness should be examined as soon as possible. For more information on treatment options, please contact Dr. Alan Discont at Family Foot & Ankle Care in Chandler, AZ. Call 480-732-0033 to schedule your appointment today!