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Heel Pain Causes and Treatment

Heel pain is a very common complaint. Typically, if caught early, we can diagnose and treat heel pain without the use of surgery and other invasive treatments or therapies. However, most people will try to push their pain and put off getting treatment. This only makes matters worse, so do yourself and your feet a favor and come in at the first sign of discomfort.

What Is Causing Your Heel Pain?

There are so many conditions that can affect your heels. It can be nearly impossible to determine the cause without coming in to have us examine your feet. There are several conditions that we see more often than others, and they include:

  • Plantar fasciitis: This is, without a doubt, the most common reasons people have heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. The plantar fascia runs the entire length of your foot and gets a lot of use throughout the day. People who put more stress or weight on their feet are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. This may be due to being physically active, overweight, or having flat feet. If your pain is worse after a period of resting your feet (for instance, when you first get up in the morning) this is the likely culprit.
  • Achilles tendinitis: This condition arises when microscopic tears in the Achilles tendon cannot heal quickly enough to keep up with an active lifestyle. It is an overuse injury that can be prevented with a few precautionary measures. These may include wearing more supportive shoes and stretching before exercising.
  • Heel bursitis: Bursae act as cushioning for joints. When they become damaged due to overuse or trauma it can result in pain. You will probably notice swelling in the back of the heel as the day goes on, and with rest you will feel better.
  • Stress fractures: This is an overuse injury that is often found in runners. Your heel bones will suffer tiny cracks that can weaken your whole bone structure over time. It is very important to get a stress fracture treated so that it does not lead to a more serious break.
  • Sever’s disease: Children and adolescents can suffer from heel pain, too. Sever’s disease affects the growth plate in the heel. It is usually found in more active children because they put more stress on their feet. Fortunately, Sever’s disease pain will go away as soon as the child is finished growing.

Treatment of Heel Pain

Treatment will depend entirely on what is causing your heel pain. Sometimes all that is needed is a change in footwear. You may also consider the addition of a custom-made orthotic to your shoe to add more cushion or support in your heel area. Plantar fasciitis can be treated with stretching, as well.

In particularly stubborn cases you may benefit from K-laser therapy. This type of treatment pinpoints damaged tissue and can even reduce your healing time. If you let your heel pain linger you may end up needing a more invasive means of treatment. Surgery can be very beneficial, but it is only used as a last resort.

Call Us Today!

Heel pain is not usually anything to worry about, provided you seek help in the early stages. Schedule a consultation with us at our Heel Pain Center, and we will diagnose you so treatment can begin. Call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to make your appointment in one of our three conveniently located Massachusetts offices. Our goal is the same as yours: to get your feet back to the healthiest they can be!

Dr. Mitchell Wachtel
Dr. Mitchell Wachtel is a North Andover podiatrist who specializes in the treatment of the feet and ankles.