Healing Treatment for Your Heel Pain
Your feet bear a lot of stress. The whole weight of your body bears down on them with every step, and the force is three to four times greater if you are landing hard on your feet, such as with running. With that much stress, pain is bound to occur at some time, either from overuse or from an injury. Two of the most common causes for pain in your heels are plantar fasciitis, with the pain being felt under your heel, and Achilles tendinitis, with the pain occurring at the back of your heel.
Problems with the Plantar Fascia
There is a ligament (fascia) at the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to the ball of your foot. Think of it as being like the string on a guitar, where the guitar is the bones of your arch, and the string is the plantar fascia. The tension on the string helps keep the guitar in tune, just as the ligament (fascia) helps form the arch in your foot. Now imagine you took the guitar and tightened the strings too much, chances are the string would overstretch, become inflamed or break.
The same thing can happen to your feet. Walking, running, jumping, or even just standing for long periods of time all put repeated stress on the plantar fascia, and it can become stretched or damaged. The tissue can become inflamed, and then pain starts. The heel bone can even react to the pull of the fascia by building up extra calcium where it is attached — this is called a bone spur. Inflammation can set into the surrounding tissue and cause even more pain.
Achilles Tendinitis Causes Heel Pain
A similar problem can occur at the back of your heel. The Achilles tendon attaches the muscles in the calf to your heel bone. Tension is often increased when the calf muscles aren’t stretched properly. As you age, or with repeated stress from running, jumping, or pushing up on your toes (think stair climbing), this tendon can become weak, over-stretch, and even tear if there is a severe jolt. Excessive stress on the Achilles tendon can cause inflamation and sharp pain with each step.
Diagnosing Heel Pain
Other causes for heel pain include fracture of the calcaneal bone, arthritis, bruises, dry or cracked heels, corns and blisters, and pain associated with peripheral vascular disease. At Country Foot Care we use state-of-the-art diagnostic services which include digital x-ray imaging to identify bone problems, diagnostic ultrasound studies to identify and quantify soft tissue involvement, and fluoroscopy for dynamic joint evaluations. We also have in-house vascular diagnostics including PADNET Doppler, ABI, and CVI Venous studies.
Treating Heel Pain
Heel pain can be conservatively treated with good results. When treating heel pain, it is essential to first identify the source of your pain. At Country Foot Care we have in-house diagnostics including fluoroscopy and digital x-ray for bone, diagnostic ultrasound for soft tissue and Doppler, ABI and CVI studies to identify vascular problems. We use these modalities to quickly diagnose your problem. Our state-of-the-art treatment regimens include custom orthotics, in-house physical therapy, cortisone injection therapy, shockwave treatment, a non-invasive modality that eliminates pain and heals damaged tissue, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments, and surgery including endoscopic plantar fasciectomy (EPF). Pain relievers may also be prescribed to help ease the discomfort. Stretching exercises to improve flexibility and strength in the foot can also have a good effect. Custom orthotics have also proven effective at reducing the pain associated with these conditions. They work by redistributing the weight more evenly across the feet and correcting gait abnormalities.
If you notice discomfort in your heels, don’t delay. Call Country Foot Care in New York for an evaluation. Our doctors combine technology with years of caring foot care experience to diagnose and treat your discomfort. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you will find relief! Call either of our offices where our helpful staff is ready to assist you or simply click on the REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.