As a common complaint, heel pain can range from mild to severe and go from one end of the pain spectrum to the other very quickly. Walking, running, or even standing can be affected, decreasing your mobility and keeping you off your feet. Luckily, heel pain is treatable with help from your Tyler, TX podiatrist.
What causes heel pain?
From overuse to specific conditions, sore feet have many causes. Some of the most common triggers for heel pain include:
- plantar fasciitis
- heel spur
- bone spur
- tarsal tunnel syndrome
- damage to the heel pads
- pinched nerves
- stress fractures
How is heel pain treated?
A full examination performed by your podiatrist helps diagnose the cause of your heel pain. X-rays and MRIs allow your doctor to see abnormalities in the bones, muscles, and tendons inside your foot. After determining the cause of your pain, your doctor works with you to determine an effective treatment plan. At-home treatments--like icing the foot or taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen--help reduce pain and swelling. In some cases, simply resting the foot allows the body to heal on its own. Your podiatrist may advise you to wear different shoes and give you exercises and stretches to reduce pain. Orthotics prescribed by your doctor help evenly distribute pressure while walking and standing or correct gait problems to decrease heel pain. In severe cases, surgery is required.
Who is at risk for heel pain?
People who work jobs which require them to be on their feet for extended amounts of time, like nursing, are at risk for heel pain. Runners or those who are physically active are also at risk, and that risk becomes higher when the proper shoes for these activities are not worn. Those who often wear dress shoes like high heels can have heel pain. Obesity also plays a role in the risk factor of foot problems as the feet take the brunt of the extra weight and pressure.
For more information on heel pain and treatment options, please contact Dr. James Kent, DPM, MS at East Texas Foot and Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX. Call (903) 939-3668 to schedule your examination today!