Roughly two million people report heel pain to their primary physicians and podiatrists each year. Ranging from a mild ache in the morning to severe pain all day long, the condition seems to affect men and women equally. There are several common causes of heel pain, and a prompt diagnosis is the vital first step in getting relief.
At Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center, our board-certified podiatrists can diagnose common heel pain from bone spurs, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis. If you have severe heel pain that doesn’t diminish with home care, don’t hesitate to book an evaluation by phone or online today.
What Is Heel Pain?
Heel pain is a symptom that can have a big impact on your day-to-day life. Since you place pressure on your heel whenever you walk, run, or stand, you can worsen the condition by doing so and experience increasing pain if left untreated.
Being specific about the characteristics of your heel pain and any symptoms that accompany it can help the team at Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center make a diagnosis. For example, if your heel pain is at its worst in the morning but seems to get better when you walk around or have a visible bump on your heel, you should tell your provider.
Your job duties, favorite activities, and habits can also contribute to heel pain. Some jobs that put you at risk require lots of standing, and certain shoe fits are more conducive to heel pain than others.
What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Heel Pain?
Heel pain can come from a whole-body (systemic) disease like arthritis, but more often than not, localized heel pain comes from an injury or condition only affecting the foot. Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center evaluates you for some of the most typical causes and can diagnose the not-so-common ones.
The leading causes of heel pain are:
- Plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation affecting the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs from your toes to your heel across the bottom of your foot. Excessive running, rapid weight gain, and non-supportive or ill-fitting shoes can all cause or contribute to plantar fasciitis.
- Achilles tendonitis. Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone at the bottom of the backside of your leg. When this tendon gets inflamed, it’s usually due to overuse or repeated stress. You’re at especially high risk for Achilles tendonitis if you play sports on the weekends or if you’re a runner and have been increasing your workout intensity lately. Without treatment, Achilles tendonitis can lead to plantar fasciitis.
- Heel spurs. Heel spurs affect the bone in your heel and often come from untreated plantar fasciitis. If the plantar fascia separates from your heel bone, the bone can develop a bone spur, which is a pointed overgrowth of calcium.
How Is Heel Pain Treated?
Heel pain treatments are usually simple as long as you seek treatment early and get an accurate diagnosis. The first strategy your physician will recommend is taking stress off your feet for a few days. A combination of ice or a cold compress and anti-inflammatory medications should relieve any swelling and reduce inflammation on the affected tendon or ligament.
Other steps to relieve heel pain include wearing supportive shoes that fit comfortably and stretching before and after exercises that place pressure on your feet. If nonsurgical treatments fail to provide relief, our podiatrists might recommend heel surgery.
Trust Our Annapolis Podiatrists to Resolve Your Heel Pain
With over 30 years of providing foot and ankle care in Central Maryland, our board-certified surgeons are committed to finding the least-invasive solution to your heel pain but are prepared to provide whatever care is necessary to resolve your pain.
Whether you see us in our office in Annapolis, Stevensville, or Glen Burnie, you will have access to our full range of treatments and therapies. Schedule your evaluation at the nearest Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center location today.