One of the most frequent reasons that patients come to see us at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center is heel pain. There are multiple causes of heel pain, however, and for that reason it’s important that if your heel is hurting, you have one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas examine your feet and determine the source of your discomfort. Once the foot doctor has diagnosed the condition that is causing your pain, the proper treatment plan can be decided upon.
Below are three common reasons heels hurt:
- Plantar Fasciitis—along the bottom of your foot there is a long band of tissue known as the plantar fascia that connects the heel bone to the ball of the foot. The plantar fascia is subject to large amounts of pressure and impact from normal daily activities. If you are a runner or serious athlete, your plantar fascia is getting an additional workout. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it can cause heel pain. One telltale sign that plantar fasciitis is the cause of your heel discomfort is pain that is worse first thing in the morning. You may also experience pain in the arch of your foot and swelling on the bottom of your heel.
- Heel Spurs—spurs are outgrowths of bone. Heel spurs are often associated with, but are different from plantar fasciitis. When calcium deposits form in the heel, bone spurs can develop. Pressure from footwear and walking can cause redness, swelling, and painful inflammation. If you have heel spurs you may experience sharp pain or a dull ache.
- Flat Feet—although flat feet can also have several causes, the bottom line is that if your arch is collapsing, heel pain can result from it. Flattening of the arch puts your foot in a biomechanically abnormal position, which exerts excess pressure on the heel. This is why shoes that lack arch support can also be a heel pain trigger.
Depending on the source of your heel pain, there are many conservative treatments including: losing weight, custom orthotic and stretching exercises. Make an appointment at our Long Beach office in Douglas Park CA to find out why your heel is hurting.