What Causes Heel Pain?

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What Causes Heel Pain?

Find out why you might be dealing with heel pain and what you can do about it. 

We don’t often think much about the health of our feet until a problem arises. Whether you would call yourself an athlete or not, foot problems can happen to anyone. If you’ve started to notice heel pain after your last run or if the heel pain has started to slowly sneak up on you, you may want to turn to our podiatrist Dr. Brian Doerr for care. Let’s take a look at two of the most common causes of heel pain that we see at our Fort Myers, FL, practice,

Plantar Fasciitis 

What is it? 

Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs the length of the bottom of the foot and connects your toes to your heel bone. Repetitive movements and overuse cause microtears in the tissue, which eventually leads to inflammation.

What are the symptoms? 

The most common symptom of this condition is a sharp, stabbing pain, which is at its worst in the morning upon rising. You may notice that your pain starts to subside as you move around more. You may find that the pain also returns after standing or sitting for long periods of time.

How do I treat it? 

Luckily, many patients dealing with heel pain can recover completely with conservative treatments,

  • We recommend taking over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen to keep pain and swelling down
  • Opt for prescription orthotics to help support the foot’s arches and to take pressure off the plantar fascia tissue
  • Wear a night splint to help stretch out your muscles while you sleep
  • Ask our Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist about certain strengthening and stretching exercises you can do to help improve heel pain

What if these treatments don’t work? 

If you still find yourself dealing with problems even after these treatments, talk to your podiatrist about other options like steroid injections or shockwave therapy.

Achilles Tendinitis 

What is it?

This injury affects the Achilles tendon, a bundle of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This is a common injury among runners and as well as those who suddenly increase their exercise intensity or length of training.

What are the symptoms?

Unlike plantar fasciitis, with Achilles tendonitis, you may at first only notice a minor aching in the back of the leg or right above the heel, particularly after physical activity. You may notice more severe pain after a longer or more intense workouts. It’s also common for patients to experience stiffness or soreness, especially in the morning.

How do I treat it? 

Just like plantar fasciitis, most Achilles tendonitis cases can be treated at home the same way. To reduce pain and swelling, turn to over-the-counter NSAIDs. If your heel pain is more severe, talk to our Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist about prescription pain relievers. Also, opt for orthotics to help take pressure off the tendon, and perform stretching and strengthening exercises each day.

What if these treatments don’t work?

If your tendon is torn or other treatments don’t eliminate your problem, then we may need to discuss whether surgery is necessary.

If you are experiencing heel pain and want to find out what could be causing your symptoms, then schedule an appointment with our Fort Myers, FL, podiatrist Dr. Doerr by calling (239) 931-3668 today.

Office Hours

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-3:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed