Relief from Your Heel Pain
Practical Treatments from Houston Foot Doctor
When everything is performing as intended, it can be easy to take our feet
for granted and not think about what they actually do for us. Feet and
ankles, though, have important responsibilities. They not only enable
movement, but they are also charged with supporting the rest of our physical
structure. While accomplishing these tasks, the lower limbs face significant
force loads. Even just walking, for example, can place up to two times
your body’s weight on them. This is important to consider when we
start discussing common causes of heel pain.
We treat many foot and ankle conditions here at Houston Foot Specialists,
but heel pain treatment is a common service we provide for our patients.
If you are having this issue, simply contact our office and request an
appointment. We will diagnose the condition and then create a treatment
plan to relieve symptoms so you can go back to doing your favorite activities!
Common Causes of Heel Pain
In addition to the amount of physical forces we place on our feet, even
with normal usage, another reason heel pain is so prevalent is the fact
there are several conditions causing this problem. Some of the more common
- Plantar fasciitis. This condition is caused by an inflamed band of tissues
(the plantar fascia) running along the underside of your foot. When subjected
to excessive stress, the fascia becomes torn and inflamed. The body works
to repair the fascia during periods of rest, but the tears can rip back
open with the first steps afterwards. For this reason, a primary symptom
is sharp heel pain in the morning. Plantar fasciitis is actually the most
common source of heel pain for adults.
Achilles tendinitis. Active individuals need to be careful, or you could
potentially develop this common overuse injury. The
Achilles tendon is the body’s strongest tendon, and is quite durable, but it is
not infallible. When overworked, the Achilles can become inflamed. Pain
in the back of the heel is usually strongest during, or immediately following,
physical activity and will worsen over time. This is often experienced
by long-distance runners and “weekend warriors” who engage
in intense activity without adequately preparing the body.
- Sever’s disease. Plantar fasciitis is the leading cause of heel pain
for adults, but Sever’s is the most common source for kids (more
specifically, adolescents). Sever’s isn’t actually a disease,
though. Instead, it is a condition that occurs when the heel bone reaches
physical maturity before the Achilles tendon. This leads to tightness
and pulling in the back of the heel. The pain is often worse with physical
activity and treatment is centered on relieving symptoms (since the condition
will resolve itself over time, without any long-term issues).
Calcaneal fractures. As with any bone in the body, the heel bone (calcaneus)
is susceptible to
fractures and breaks. This can be a painful, disabling injury. Whereas most causes of heel
pain are often handled with conservative care, fractures often require surgery.
- Heel spurs. Bone spurs are calcium deposits that build up over time in
response to external forces or pressure. Heel spurs, specifically, develop
on the underside of the heel, and can happen in tandem with plantar fasciitis.
- Bursitis. Your body has tiny sacs filled with lubricating fluid to decrease
friction and irritation in various joints. These are called bursae, and
the one located between the Achilles tendon and heel bone can become inflamed
and lead to pain on account of repetitive motion or excessive force.
Heel Pain Treatment
The good news when it comes to these various conditions is that they are
often successfully resolved with the use of conservative (nonsurgical)
treatment. There are many different options and methods we may use when
creating our unique treatment plan specifically for you. Some of the components
include rest, ice, medication, stretches, physical therapy,
footwear changes, orthotic devices, and corticosteroid injections. Your case will determine
which options we use.
Remember, if you are experiencing pain in the back of your foot, this is
not normal! Instead, it is your body’s way of telling you that there
is an existing problem. Fortunately, we can help. Our medical experts
are ready to provide the care and treatment you need, so contact Houston
Foot Specialists today. Either give our Houston, TX podiatrist office
a call at (713) 467-8886 or take advantage of our online form to connect
with us and request your appointment right now.