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 ones include:

  • 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.