Heel pain is growing more common among Americans today, but unfortunately it’s a very undertreated issue. At the private podiatry practice of William Hansen, DPM, in the Queens, New York, neighborhood of Flushing, you’ll get a prompt diagnosis and treatment in a warm and welcoming environment. Reach out by phone or make your appointment using the scheduling link now.
What causes heel pain?
Heel pain can have a few different causes that vary according to the part of the heel affected. The most common causes include:
Sharp pain on the bottom of your heel is usually related to plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain overall. This condition develops when inflammation causes tiny tears to bloom in the thick length of tissue that links the heel and upper foot. Certain factors like high arches, obesity, poor shoe support, and chronic overuse can lead to plantar fasciitis.
Pain in the back of your heel, close to the lower leg, may occur with Achilles tendinitis. This condition is an overuse injury in which your tendon grows irritated and badly inflamed. It often occurs in athletes. Untreated, Achilles tendinitis can evolve into a tendon rupture.
Heel spurs are small hook-like protrusions under your heel bone. They often develop along with plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs typically occur because of foot strain related to exercise, extra weight, or poorly fitted shoes.
Lower heel pain can also happen because of overpronation, which means your feet move too far inward as you walk. This puts considerable stress on the soft tissues that connect with your heel, potentially causing small injuries, inflammation, and pain.
Heel pain may also occur for a variety of other reasons, including arthritis, neuropathy, foot trauma, and bone infections.
How is heel pain diagnosed?
Heel pain diagnosis includes a meticulous foot exam, during which Dr. Hansen might ask you to stand on your toes, walk around, and move your foot in various ways.
In most cases, you’ll need an X-ray, which shows the bony structures in your feet, or an ultrasound, which shows the ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues. If Dr. Hansen suspects a nerve problem like neuropathy, he may also recommend nerve conduction testing.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Plantar fasciitis treatment is usually conservative, with options that include:
- Form Fit® night splint
- Custom orthotics
- Physical therapy exercises
- Cortisone injections
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with the CASCADE® Autologous Platelet System
Dr. Hansen may recommend surgery for the rare treatment-resistant cases of plantar fasciitis. In most instances, plantar fasciitis surgery is minimally invasive, and performed on an outpatient basis.
If you have plantar fasciitis or any other type of heel pain, call William Hansen, DPM, or click the online scheduler now.