If you have heel pain, you are far from alone. And if you endure it every day, believing it’s just part of your life now, you are also, unfortunately, far from alone.
But you don’t have to forge on like that! The good news is that most forms of heel pain can benefit greatly from conservative treatments. It’s all about finding the cause of the problem and taking the necessary action. At Associates in Podiatry, we are experts in doing just that.
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What Causes Heel Pain?
Heel pain is a common complaint that can stem from a variety of different specific causes. At the top of the list is plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a thick, strong band of tissue that runs along the underside of the foot. This band plays a few important roles, including supporting the arches and bending when we move to aid in locomotion.
When too much stress is placed on the plantar fascia, however—either all at once or over an extended period of time—the band can develop microtears and that aforementioned inflammation.
The pain from plantar fasciitis is most often felt in the morning as soon as you get out of bed, or after any other period of long inactivity. The plantar fascia must “warm up” with a few minutes of activity for pain to lessen.
Other causes of heel pain include Achilles tendinitis, stress fractures, bursitis, and more. One factor most of them have in common is overuse or excess stress that has caused damage to the area in question. This may come from a person’s activity levels, but might also be the result of having to stand all day for work, improper footwear, or an abnormality in foot structure, among other causes.
Treatments for Heel Pain
No matter how long you have had consistent heel pain, something can be done to either increase your comfort or eliminate the problem entirely.
For treatment to be effective, however, we must know what the problem is, as well as the causes that are contributing to it. That will take a full evaluation, including knowing more about your medical history, job, and activities.
Once we have centered on the problem, we can recommend treatments that will best suit your needs and daily life. Rest is often a factor in most treatments, but other suggestions may include:
- Changes in footwear or work environment to provide further support. This can include shoes that are more accommodating to your feet or mats and other items to reduce standing stress on the feet.
- Custom orthotics that provide specific support, cushioning, and correction where needed, often to address foot abnormalities.
- Night splints or other devices that can hold the plantar fascia or other soft tissues in place at night, helping to lessen morning pain.
- Advanced treatment options such as MLS laser therapy to promote pain relief and faster healing in soft tissue injuries.
- Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) – also known as “shockwave therapy” – which sends pressure waves through the site of pain to stimulate blood flow and accelerate healing.
- Medications and icing to help relieve pain and swelling.
Surgery may be considered, but only if more conservative measures have not or would not provide enough relief.
Wait No Longer on Treating Your Heel Pain
Heel pain is not something you have to suffer through. The sooner the cause of your pain is identified, the sooner treatment and increased comfort can begin!
Contact either of our area offices to schedule an appointment and take the first steps toward addressing your heel pain. You can reach us at (908) 687-5757 for Roselle Park or (609) 924-8333 for Princeton.