Heel pain is a very common condition treated in our podiatric office. Patients come in complaining of pain to the bottom of their heel, sometimes radiating into the arch area and are seeking effective treatment. Dr. Weinert often speaks with patients who thought their heel pain would just go away on its own. However, with conditions such as heel spur syndrome or plantar fasciitis, this often is not the case.
If heel pain is not treated properly, symptoms will only get worse for the patient and can result in further pain and disability. This can happen not only in the foot, but in the ankle, knee, hip, lower back and even up in to the shoulder areas as well. The foot is the foundation for the whole body system and if the foot or the heel hurts, then you can feel pain all over. Foot health starts with knowing the causes of heel pain and symptoms to look out for. Early intervention will prevent further damage to the feet and Dr. Weinert offers several treatment options to help his patients suffering with heel pain.
Causes of Heel Pain
Many things can cause heel pain. Most commonly seen at our Troy, MI office are heel spurs, which are small growths on the heel bone. Heel pain can be caused from heavy activities and increased weight that put extra pressure on feet. Dr. Weinert often treats heel pain in athletes, runners and women who are pregnant. There are other cases where Dr. Weinert has related a patient’s heel pain to arthritis, stress fractures, fractures, bone tumors, cysts, achilles tendonitis and Haglund’s deformity.
The main cause of heel pain is usually a biomechanical problem in the foot and it’s, in a nutshell, having a foot out of alignment. There are numerous conditions. One of the most prevalent is called talotarsal dislocation syndrome. What that is in lay terms is you’ve just got a misalignment of your ankle on your heel and as you bear weight you’re getting a collapse of the ankle on the heel causing the foot to be out of alignment. So the plantar fascia, bones, joints, and ligaments receive constant stress. This stress occurs at the point where the plantar fascia (the major tissue that connects your toes to your heel) meets the heel. Many patients explain the pain as being in the middle of the inside of the heel.
As a patient bears weight, they get the collapse of the foot and that ligament pulls. And if you think of a rubber band constantly getting pulled on that area of the insertion on the heel, you eventually start getting some micro tears in that ligament and causing inflammation and pain specifically right there in middle area of the heel.
Plantar fasciitis is also a common source of heel pain. The plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs from your heel to your toes, can become strained and inflamed due to overuse and wear and tear. This band of tissue can only withstand so much pressure and when it gives way, the pain can be severe and requires immediate and effective treatment.
Symptoms of Heel Pain
Usually when a patient comes in they’ll explain that they have severe pain in the heel. It’s usually worse during the first step in the morning when they get out of bed. Many people say if they walk for a period of time, it gets a little bit better. But if they sit down and get back up, the pain will come back and it’s one of those intermittent come and go types of pain. Heel pain patients will say it feels like a toothache in the heel area or even into the arch area. A lot of times it will get better with rest and then it will just come right back. So it’s one of those nuisance type things that just never goes away.
Many of Dr. Weinert’s patients complain of similar symptoms. The following are common signs of heel pain and plantar fasciitis:
Pain that is worse first thing in the morning
Pain that develops after heavy activity or exercise
Pain that occurs when standing up after sitting for a long period of time
Severe, toothache type of pain in the bottom of the heel
Treatment for Heel Pain
Using our state-of-the-art equipment, Dr. Weinert is able to provide a full work up for the heel, including gait analysis. Digital imagining gives him and the patient a full view of the foot and injury to help formulate the best treatment plan possible. There are numerous treatment options available to help with heel pain and plantar fasciitis:
Digital custom orthotics
Diagnostic and ultrasonic guided injection therapy
No one should ever resign to living with foot pain. If you have heel pain, visit Dr. Weinert for effective treatment and live pain-free once again. Call our Troy office today at (248) 362-3338 or visit our Patient Education section on our homepage for further information on foot and ankle conditions.