Causes and Treatment of Heel Pain
Nothing is more frustrating that beginning an activity only to find yourself afflicted with heel pain. Heel pain can have many causes. A visit to your local Clearwater podiatrist is a sure way to discover the cause of your heel pain and begin a successful treatment plan. The podiatrist will need to know exactly where the pain is and how long you’ve had it, so make note of your symptoms.
If you are having pain beneath the heel, there are several possible causes.
Stone Bruise—Sometimes we injure the fat pad of our heel when we step on some hard object. Although the pain is irritating, it will dissipate after several days. In the meantime, a mild pain medicine should do the trick.
Plantar Fasciitis—This pain may seem mild at first, but flares up after lying down overnight or sitting for a time. The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your toes to your heel bone. When this ligament is weakened or irritated, it swells and causes pain upon standing or walking. This is one of the more common causes of heel pain.
Treatments for plantar fasciitis include resting the foot and allowing inflammation to decrease particularly by using anti-inflammation medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. New shoes with better arch support or padded shoe inserts can help, as can stretches for the calf and toes.
Heel Spurs–Calcium deposits can develop when plantar fasciitis is left untreated over time. Often an x-ray is needed to determine if this is the problem. Treatments for heel spurs are much the same as those for plantar fasciitis.
If you have pain behind the heel, there is one main cause.
Insertional Achilles Tendonitis–You may have irritated the Achilles tendon where it inserts into the heel bone. This can happen by wearing shoes that rub along that area or by running or walking too much. The skin can become thicker and red with overuse leading to a bump that becomes painful and hot to the touch on the back of the heel. Treatments include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, resting, and ice packs. Furthermore, your Clearwater foot doctor may recommend a 3/8″ or 1/2″ heel insert. They may also order an x-ray to determine if there is a bone spur present.
To start your journey on the road to recovery, you can try some of the simpler remedies at home. However, if your heel pain persists, a podiatrist can help you overcome your heel problems and return to full activity.