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Experiencing pain in the heel of the foot? It could be caused by any number of issues, from plantar fasciitis to heel spurs to a stress fracture. Here are some common causes of heel pain as well as treatment methods. If your heel pain is especially bad or uncontrollable, it is time to see a Podiatrist.
What Causes Heel Pain?
Heel pain can come from a wide variety of causes. One of the most common causes of pain in the heel of the foot is plantar fasciitis. This is a condition in which the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed. It feels like a sharp, shooting pain in the heel. Many athletes get plantar fasciitis, especially after suddenly increasing their workout intensity.
Another cause of heel pain is heel spurs. These are calcium deposits that form bony bumps on the heel, making walking painful. Other causes of pain in the heel of the foot are stress fractures, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, and cysts. A Podiatrist will be able to diagnose the condition causing your heel pain.
Why Do I Only Have Plantar Fasciitis Pain in the Morning?
One way to be almost certain that heel pain is plantar fasciitis is if it is especially bad first thing in the morning. This is because the plantar fascia tightens while you are resting and asleep. The first steps out of bed in the morning, or up after a period of sitting, can be particularly painful. Walking around a bit usually lessens the pain, as the movement causes the tissue to relax and stretch.
What Are Some Treatments for Pain in the Heel of the Foot?
Treatment for heel pain is tailored specifically to target the root cause of the pain. Proper footwear is very important in keeping your feet and ankles healthy. Running, jumping, and doing other athletic activities while barefoot or in shoes that don’t offer much support is a surefire way to develop plantar fasciitis. Buy shoes with proper arch and heel support, with minimal flexion, and make sure to replace athletic shoes once they have worn down.
Stretching can also help reduce heel pain. It is especially important to stretch before and after exercise so your muscles can warm up and cool down properly. Rolling your foot over a foam roller or frozen water bottle can also provide some relief, as can icing your feet. Rest is also important to manage heel pain, no matter what it is coming from.
Depending on the condition, doctors may prescribe medication, custom orthotics, physical therapy, or surgery for pain in the heel of the foot. These treatments vary widely and rely on a variety of factors.
When Should I See a Doctor for Plantar Fasciitis?
If your heel pain is extreme and ongoing, you should schedule an appointment with a Podiatrist as soon as possible. Swelling near the heel or the inability to bend your foot or walk normally are also signs you should see a doctor. Plantar fasciitis pain combined with fever, warmth in the heel, or numbness and tingling may be a sign of a more serious injury. Contact a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
Need a podiatrist to diagnose your heel pain? Diablo Foot and Ankle can help. Their expert doctors will have you set up with a treatment plan for pain in the heel of the foot in no time at all. Call today to schedule an appointment.