Heel pain is one of the most debilitating types of pain. Hurt your arm or hand? Then it may be uncomfortable to use your limb, but your mobility won't be affected. When heel pain strikes, it's difficult or impossible to walk normally, depending on the severity of the pain. Your Norridge, IL foot doctor, Dr. Laura J. Pickard of Norridge Foot Clinic, shares information about treatment options for this common type of pain.
What causes heel pain?
Heel pain can occur for a variety of reasons. Common types of pain include:
Metatarsalgia, or Stone Bruise: Have you ever accidentally stepped on a rock in your bare feet and experienced pain in your heel for days or weeks after? Although stepping on something hard is a common cause of a stone bruise, it can also occur if you wear shoes that don't fit well, or from running and jumping.
Plantar Fasciitis: Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs under the arch of your foot and connects your heel to your toes. If the band becomes irritated and inflamed, heel pain can occur. Participating in sports or activities that involve running or jumping can increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis, but sometimes it develops for unknown reasons.
Heel Spur: After plantar fasciitis heals, your problems may not be over. Some people develop heel spurs at the location where the fascia connects to the heel.
Retrocalcaneal Bursitis: You'll find your retrocalcaneal bursa at the place where your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel. Increasing the intensity of your workout or overdoing your training regimen can cause the problem.
How can a podiatrist help me?
Rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medications are often the only treatment needed for heel pain. But if those home treatments don't improve your pain, it may be time for a visit to your Norridge foot doctor. Whether you have a stone bruise, plantar fasciitis, or a heel spur, your doctor may recommend orthotics or shock-absorbing insoles to help provide proper support for your foot and decrease symptoms.
Stretching the Achilles tendon, lower calf muscles, and arch can help relieve the pain of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Your foot doctor may suggest physical therapy and night splints to maximize stretching. Corticosteroid injections can help if nothing relieves the pain of retrocalcaneal bursitis, plantar faciitis, or heel spurs. In severe cases, your podiatrist may recommend surgery to treat plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.
Are you tired of living with heel pain? Norridge, IL foot doctor, Dr. Laura J. Pickard of Norridge Foot Clinic, can help you. Call her today at (773)625-2211. Don't let heel pain keep you off your feet a minute longer!