The foot and ankle are made of up to 26 bones, with the heel being the largest. An injury or overuse of the heel may cause pain and discomfort. Other causes of heel pain include stress fracture, Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. If you have any of these conditions, you may experience mild to severe pain depending on the cause and type of injury. Visiting your specialist for New York heel pain is necessary for diagnosis and treatment to help alleviate discomfort.
Different causes of heel pain
This is caused by too much pressure on your feet, damaging the plantar fascia ligament and resulting in inflammation. Although anyone may develop this condition, people with very flat or high-arched feet have higher chances of developing plantar fasciitis. Other factors that put you at risk of this condition include obesity and an occupation that requires long hours of standing.
The different symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Pain on your heel and in the arch of your foot
- Extreme pain when standing
- Swelling of your heel
Several patients with plantar fasciitis have reported pain that worsens in the morning or after sitting for a long time. Walking stretches the fascia and may reduce the pain intensity.
Diagnostic imaging tests such as x-rays help your doctor to distinguish different types of heel pain. Your doctor may also review your medical history and ask several questions about the symptoms you may have. A diagnosis is necessary to rule out other possible causes of heel pain besides plantar fasciitis. Other times, heel spurs are present in patients with plantar fasciitis, but these are rarely a source of pain.
There are surgical and non-surgical treatment methods for this condition. Some of the non-surgical treatments include:
- Steroid injections. These injections offer temporary relief from pain but do not cure plantar fasciitis.
- Prescribed medications. Oral anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen help minimize pain and inflammation.
Your specialist may recommend a surgical procedure only if you fail to respond to non-surgical treatment. However, a lot of patients respond to non-surgical treatments and do not require surgery.
Home remedy practices for heel pain
- Physical exercises such as stretching may minimize pain by stretching out the calf muscles.
- Cold compression. Your doctor may suggest that you place an ice pack on your heel for at least 15 to 20 minutes to reduce inflammation. Do this twice a day.
- Wear shoes to avoid exerting pressure on your plantar fascia.
- Limit your engagement in physical activities and get enough rest.
- Wear shoes with a slightly raised heel. Good arch support helps reduce stress on the plantar fascia.
- Place pads in your shoes to reduce strain on the fascia while walking.
- Your doctor may recommend that you fit orthotic devices into your shoes to fix any structural abnormalities.
- Wear a night splint as you sleep to stretch out the plantar fascia and reduce morning pain.
Besides reducing pain, these practices prevent the later occurrence of plantar fasciitis.
If you have further questions or need treatment for heel pain, visit your specialist at Precision Footcare for treatment to start living a life free from pain.