Aching, painful heels are far from an uncommon issue. In fact, more than one in four Americans report having had some form of heel pain at some point in their lives, according to a survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Heel pain can stem from a variety of causes, and finding the best, most effective form of treatment depends on identifying those causes. Unfortunately, people who suffer from heel discomfort often try just one or two general treatments before giving up and resigning themselves to living a life that includes daily pain. Sound familiar?
Fortunately, there's good news: You don't have to accept heel pain as your new normal. In the vast majority of cases, it can be successfully treated or managed with common podiatric therapies—and that's where we come in. At Capital Podiatry Associates, we're committed to identifying the source of your pain and matching you with the treatment method that's right for you. Here's what you should know.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
When we talk about "heel pain," most of the time, we are referring to distress that's felt in the bottom or back of the heel. While the heel bone itself is a relatively large structure compared to other parts of the foot, there are also many surrounding structures that can be responsible for discomfort.
The most common form of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs beneath the foot and connects the base of the toes to the heel. Another common cause is Achilles tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. Less common causes of heel pain include:
- Stress fractures
- Haglund's deformity
- Heel spurs
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Bone infections
- Stone bruises
With so many potential causes for heel distress, getting the correct diagnosis—as well as an understanding of the underlying reasons the pain occurred—is absolutely essential. We provide a careful diagnosis, clear answers about your condition and treatment options, and a path to effective recovery.
Treating Heel Pain
The primary goals of heel pain treatment are to take care of symptoms, accelerate healing when necessary, and prevent conditions that can cause irritation from coming back.
For pain treatment and healing of soft tissue injuries, laser treatment can be a very effective tool. This form of treatment uses specific wavelengths of light energy to penetrate the site of an injury and stimulate the repair activities of cells. Laser therapy can be particularly beneficial in the treatment of sports injuries.
If the source of your discomfort stems from an abnormality in your gait or foot structure, we may recommend the use of custom orthotic inserts. These devices are specially made to meet your feet's unique needs, providing support and offloading excess pressure from areas that cause stress or pain. We may recommend additional forms of treatment on a case-by-case basis.
Prioritizing Conservative Care
Many people put off podiatry care because they're worried they'll have to undergo an invasive surgical procedure and endure a long and grueling recovery period. We understand, and that's why we use conservative treatment methods whenever possible. With early and regular care, surgery may not be needed. However, when conservative measures fail to provide relief, we have a broad range of minimally invasive, advanced treatment options to get you back on your feet as effectively and as quickly as we can.
Give Heel Pain the Boot and Get Back to Doing the Things You Enjoy
No matter how long you have been enduring heel pain, putting off professional evaluation and treatment is one of the worst things you can do. It's also unnecessary. Our Alexandria podiatry practice provides treatment and guidance to help patients regain much-needed comfort and mobility, regardless of age, activity level, or occupation. Don't let heel pain stop you from doing the things you love.
Complete the online contact form or call our office at (703) 560-3773 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced heel pain specialists.