Heel Pain Treatment Questions and Answers
Heel pain is a common foot problem. Inflammation, bone changes, nerve compression, and other reasons can all lead to it. If you are suffering from heel pain, talk to our podiatrist Dr. Danielle L. Shaper, DPM at Finesse Footcare in Lyndhurst, OH today. Our professionals provide comprehensive treatment for your pain so you can perform routine tasks without any hurdles. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 5035 Mayfield Rd Lyndhurst, OH 44124.
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The foot and ankle are a complex system of 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 tendons, with the largest bone in the foot being the heel. Heel pain can be the result of an injury or overuse of the area, with pain ranging anywhere from mild, irritating pain to agonizing, disabling pain. Heel pain can radiate out from two primary locations of the foot – the bottom of the heel or the back of the heel. Typically, it is a localized condition that only affects the foot, and particularly the heel, but it can also be caused by a wider spread of medical conditions such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis. While there are many causes of heel pain, the most common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel is plantar fasciitis, and on the back of the heel its Achilles tendinitis. Heel pain is not often associated with a serious condition however it can easily interfere with your normal day-to-day activities, and it can interfere especially with your exercise routine or participation in sports activities. Additional causes of heel pain that are not as common can include Achilles tendon rupture, Bone tumor, bursitis, heel spur, bone infection, peripheral neuropathy, stress fractures, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and many other conditions.
Pain behind the heel is referred to as posterior heel pain. While there are multiple causes of posterior heel pain, the three most common ones are Achilles tendinitis, retrocalcaneal bursitis, and calcaneal spur. Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon the runs through the back of the ankle. Typically, the pain is focused directly over the tendon, but it can also appear where the tendon and heel bone join. Small tears in the tendon and calcium deposits in the tendon can both contribute to this condition. Retrocalcaneal bursitis is caused by the bursae behind the heel bone becoming irritated. The bursae protect the heel bone from contact and as a result, they can get irritated or injured, causing posterior heel pain. A calcaneal spur is a bone spur that can form where the Achilles tendon inserts into the back of the heel over a long period of time. It creates a bony prominence in the affected area that can irritate the tissues surrounding it and even lead to bursitis in the surrounding bursa. Additional causes of posterior heel pain can include plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and os trigonum syndrome.
If you are experiencing heel pain that isn’t going away, no matter what you are trying at home, you will need to get it checked by a doctor. Your family doctor or primary care physician may refer you to a podiatrist for diagnostic testing and treatment, as podiatrists specialize in the care and treatment of conditions related to the lower limbs, and particularly the feet. The doctor will ask you for a medical history of the pain – how it started, when it’s better or worse, any activities you were performing when the pain started or shortly before, etc. They will also perform a physical exam of the area that can be broken out into different focuses of testing – dermatologic, vascular, neurologic, and muscular – to help determine the root cause of the pain. Additional testing can also be ordered and completed if needed beyond what the doctor is able to perform in their office. You may be sent for testing such as an x-ray, CT scan, bone scan, MRI, ultrasound, or other tests based on the diagnostic information the doctor needs to make their diagnosis and provide a treatment plan.
Yes, our doctors and specialists at Finesse Footcare are knowledgeable and experienced in all types of injuries and conditions related to feet. We understand how important your feet are to you, as they provide us with the ability to walk, run and move around using our legs. Ensuring our patients’ feet are healthy and pain-free is our ultimate goal, so feel free to give us a call or book an appointment online to see how we can help you eliminate foot pain from your life and put your best foot forward.
If you would like to know more about heel pain treatment or want to schedule an appointment we invite you to make an appointment with us through our website or by calling us! We serve patients from Lyndhurst OH, Chagrin Falls OH, Beachwood OH, Pepper Pike OH, Woodmere OH, Hunting Valley OH, Solon OH, Mayfield OH, Moreland Hills OH, Orange OH and surrounding areas.