What You Should Know About Heel Pain
If heel pain has been bothering you consistently – whether over the past few days or the past few years – there are some important things you should know:
- Your heel pain is not just “a normal part of life” that you have to bear with.
- The vast majority of heel pain causes can be treated effectively
- Surgery is only required in fairly rare circumstances.
We have helped a great many people in and around Roseburg find relief from their heel pain problems, and we’re always ready to help more! If you’re ready to take heel pain out of your life, take the first step by calling our office to schedule an appointment.
In addition to the information here, we also have a small guide about heel pain treatment we’d be happy to share with you. Just click the button below to get your free digital copy. REQUEST OUR FREE HEEL PAIN GUIDE
What Is Causing Your Heel Pain?
Part of what can make heel pain so tricky to treat on your own is the fact that it’s not just one specific problem. Heel pain can come from multiple conditions, and each of those can have multiple factors contributing to it.
To effectively address your problem, we need to determine what is at the root of it. Many times, when people try a heel pain remedy and it doesn’t work at home, it’s not because their case is hopeless. The treatment just wasn’t ideal for the specific cause of their pain!
In general, heel pain is typically caused by an overload of force or strain within the foot. This may be the result of overuse, an abnormal foot structure, trauma, or other factors.
Some of the more common causes of heel pain we see and treat regularly include:
- Plantar Fasciitis. The leading cause of heel pain in adults, plantar fasciitis is the strain and aggravation of a thick band of tissue that runs beneath the foot, helping to form the arch. Common symptoms include sharp pain as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, or when moving after any long period of inactivity.
- Achilles Tendinitis. Much like plantar fasciitis, the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone can become strained and inflamed – or sometimes even tear. Pain from Achilles tendinitis is often felt directly in the back of the heel, or just above it.
- Stress Fractures. When bones sustain repetitive stress and are not allowed enough time to recover, they can develop painful hairline cracks along their surfaces. Stress fractures in the heel area can be common in runners and other athletes whose feet are repetitively hitting hard surfaces.
- The inflammation of protective, fluid-filled sacs near many joints – including in the heel area. Symptoms include swelling, stiffness, and tenderness to the touch.
Many other conditions can result in heel pain, including full fractures, heavy bruising, forms of arthritis, and Sever’s disease in adolescents. It is important to have a firm diagnosis of the problem in order to recommend the most effective course of treatment.
Treating Your Heel Pain
The methods we use to treat heel pain differ on a case-by-case basis. The treatments that may be most effective for one patient or situation may not work so well for another.
When we perform a thorough examination of your condition, we also typically ask questions about when your heel pain is at its worst, what kind of footwear you use most often, and how your heel pain affects your daily life. These answers provide valuable insight into the problem and how best to address it.
(Please also feel free to bring in a well-used pair of shoes for us to examine. We can learn a lot about your gait and high-pressure areas of your feet by looking at tread wear!)
A course of treatment may have one or several parts, as there can be more than one contributing cause to your condition. Potential components of treatment can include:
- Simple rest and ice treatment to aid recovery.
- The use of custom orthotics to shift excess stress away from vulnerable areas.
- Therapeutic laser therapy to help relieve pain and accelerate soft tissue recovery.
- Changes to more accommodating footwear.
- Changes to exercise routines that allow for more cross-training or low-impact activities.
- Stretches and exercises to specifically condition vulnerable areas.
- The use of night splints or other devices to help prevent pain during the morning and other times.
In uncommon situations, conservative treatments such as the above will not have the effects we wish to see, or it is clear from the start that they would not be effective. This is when surgery may be considered – and we will fully discuss surgical options with you if the need arises.
Roseburg’s Source for Heel Pain Care
The longer you go without confronting the sources of your heel pain, the longer they will continue to be a thorn in your side – and the more likely the problem can become stubbornly chronic.