Your feet truly are the foundation of your body. Without them, you wouldn't be able to stand in line at the grocery store, take your dog for a walk, or go on your morning jogs. Your feet are responsible for getting you where you need to go (for free!), and, assuming they are functioning correctly, they do so without complaining.
But the truth is, these everyday activities can place a lot of stress on those hard-working structures. In fact, on an average day, your feet absorb several cumulative tons of impact forces. Considering that your heels are front and center for receiving these impact loads with each and every step you take, it really comes as no surprise that heel pain is by far one of the most common foot problems we treat at our office.
Unfortunately, most of us take our feet for granted. We generally neglect them until one day pain or an injury serves as a stark reminder that having healthy feet is indeed an important part of staying active and doing the things we love. Don't make this mistake. If you or someone you love is dealing with frustrating heel pain, come visit our office for the treatment you need and deserve. At Advanced Foot Care, our team of experts will determine exactly what is causing your discomfort and provide the treatment you need to get back to a pain-free lifestyle.
Identifying the Source of Your Discomfort
Let's get one thing out of the way: Heel pain is a symptom, not a condition. While some conditions that cause heel pain can be treated using similar approaches, it's important that we find the exact source of your discomfort in order to provide the best treatment option to address your pain. The following are some of the most common foot conditions that can lead to heel discomfort.
- Achilles tendonitis. This is a problem with inflammation, swelling, and tightening in the Achilles tendon. It pulls on the back of the heel and can create pain after movement. Common symptoms include stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and/or pain above the heel and back of the foot, especially when stretching the ankle or standing on the toes.
- Trauma. There are many injuries that can cause your heels to hurt. The most common of these are stress fractures, which are tiny breaks in the bone that result from repetitive stress and impact to the feet, like running. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, difficulty walking, tenderness, stiffness, and discomfort that keeps you from performing daily activities.
- Plantar fasciitis. This is a very common condition that usually arises when undue stress is placed on the ligament in the foot that supports the arch—the plantar fascia. Patients with plantar fasciitis often feel a sharp pain when first getting up in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time; stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel is also common.
- Bone spurs. These are hard bumps that develop when a bone is under heavy pressure and friction. Typically, these appear on the bottom and back of the heel bone. Bone spurs are often painless, but, in some circumstances, they can contribute to difficulty walking, pain, numbness, tenderness, and swelling of the heel.
Once we identify what is causing your pain and discomfort, we can then put together a treatment plan that works for you—a plan that takes your needs, goals, and lifestyle into consideration. In many cases, conservative measures are just what patients need to resolve their heel pain once and for all.
Providing Treatment Options From Conservative to Advanced
As is true with most health issues, the sooner you seek proper diagnosis and treatment for your heel pain, the easier it will be to get your feet back on track.
When you visit Advanced Foot Care, we will perform a thorough evaluation of your feet and ankles in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Based on what we find, we will then discuss potential treatment options with you. The specific treatment (or treatments) we recommend may include one or more of the following options:
- Physical therapy
- Changes in footwear
- Custom orthotics
- Changes in physical activities
- ICE therapy (rest, ice, compress, elevate)
- MLS laser therapy
- OTC or prescription medication
- Injection therapy
- Surgery (only in very rare circumstances)
Our expert podiatrists understand just how frustrating heel pain can be and are here to assist you. If you're struggling with chronic heel discomfort, don't wait to get the relief you need and deserve. Let us help you get back on your feet and back to doing the activities you love.
Schedule an Appointment With Our Heel Pain Specialists
Advanced Foot Care provides first-class care and treatment options for all your foot or ankle problems, including heel pain. Simply give us a call at (281) 292-7000 to schedule an appointment or fill out our contact form, and a member of our staff will contact you shortly.