The human foot and ankle is a complicated structure with 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons. The heel bone is the largest one in your foot. Heel pain may develop if it is injured or overused. It is recommended to see an orthopedic or podiatrist specialist to accurately diagnose the cause of your heel pain.
Heel Pain Causes and Treatments
There can be several causes of heel pain:
- Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition that develops if you damage your plantar fascia ligament when too much pressure is applied regularly.
- Sprains and strains are common injuries of the body that often result from excessive physical activities.
- Fracture of the heel bone is a medical emergency, and urgent care must be acquired for it.
- Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition in which the tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel becomes inflamed due to excessive physical activity.
- Bursitis and bursae are fluid-filled sacs in our joints; any condition that affects them can cause pain and joints’ problems.
- Heel bumps occur in teenagers as a result of using improper footwear and heels.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome, a large nerve at the back of the foot, becomes entrapped, causing pain.
- The heel pad’s chronic inflammation can develop either by heavy footsteps or the heel pad becoming too thin.
Treatment of heel pain and plantar fasciitis requires the consultation of an expert podiatrist or orthopedic specialist. After running a few tests, the specialist will determine the cause of your heel pain and provide an appropriate treatment plan.
If you are experiencing heel swelling and pain, the first line of treatment is the conservative ones:
- Rest as much as possible.
- Apply ice to the heel for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day.
- Use heel lifts or shoe inserts to reduce pain.
- Wear a night splint, a unique device that stretches the foot while sleeping.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications.
- Wear shoes that fit correctly.
After a few days of following this regime, the swelling should subside, and the pain should be gone; however, if that does not happen, you should see a specialist.
Several conditions may cause pain in the heel bone:
- Fractures in the bone – possible due to injury.
- Wearing high heels for a longer time.
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes for a longer period.
- Running on hard surfaces without proper shock-absorbing shoes.
For the treatment for heel bone pain, rest as much as possible, take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers; if the pain sustains, you should see an orthopedic or podiatrist specialist.
Heel Pain Diagnosis
To diagnose the real problem causing the heel pain, your doctor will conduct a series of tests.
- The feet are physically and visually examined for any visible signs of bruising or deformities, also with weight and non-weight-bearing activities.
- The foot is touched by the specialist and inspected for any swelling, deformities, swelling, tender spots, or any alterations in the foot and arch bones.
- To identify problems in the foot muscles, the specialist may perform a test that involves holding or moving the feet against resistance.
- You may be asked to stand, stroll, or run.
- The foot’s skin is evaluated for any signs of infection, bruising, or breaks in the skin.
- Foot nerves are tested to rule out any injuries sustained by them.
- X-rays, MRIs, or bone scans of the foot and the arch are ordered to determine the bone structure or soft tissue’s damage or abnormalities.
- Your specialist may ask blood tests to check any systematic disease or disorder such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout.
Once the specialist is sure about the cause of the pain, they can commence proper ankle and heel pain treatment.
What is the treatment for heel pain?
Heel and arch pain treatment depend on the condition that is causing the pain in your foot. Your doctor might prescribe one or more of the following:
- Physical therapy.
- Strengthening exercises.
- Massage therapy.
- Chiropractic therapy.
- PRP injections.
- Heel spur removal.
Call us now to book an appointment with one of the best Orthopedic Specialists in NJ and NY to escape heel pain.
What Causes Pain in the Heel of the Foot?
- Several reasons can cause heel pain, but the most important one is the Plantar fasciitis. A spur syndrome in the heel usually causes this condition in the heel.
- Other causes of heel pain may include arthritis, fracture, cyst, or damaged nerves.
What Is the Best Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?
- Pain medications or NSAIDs are considered so far, the best treatment for plantar fasciitis.
- Do not apply ice directly to the heel.
- Strengthening exercises of lower foot are also considered as a good treatment option for plantar fasciitis.
What Aggravates Plantar Fasciitis?
- This injury usually occurs as a result of overuse or putting extra pressure on the foot.
- It also may occur as a result of wearing improper footwear choices.
How Long Does Heel Pain Last?
- The heel tissues may get affected and cause sharp, radiating, or stabbing pain in the heel.
- The recovery timeline for plantar fasciitis may vary from 6-18 months in case if it is left untreated.
- But after going through its non-surgical procedure, the success rate for most of the patients is 95-97% with guaranteed results.