My heel hurts! Heel pain can be a huge bummer when every step you take is painful. Heel pain is not normal, and you should not have to live with it!
While heel spurs may be present on x-rays (radiographs), if is very rare that spurs are removed surgically. Numerous studies in recent years have shown that heel spurs are merely indicators of soft tissue abnormalities/pain, and they are not causes of pain themselves.
Causes of Heel Pain (There are many possibilities!)
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spur
- Achilles tendonitis
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Bone fracture
- Stress fracture
- Bone cyst
Drs. Goldfine are excellent at narrowing down diagnosis differentials and determining the cause of heel pain. It is important to know the pathology (the cause) of the pain before you attempt treatment. While we have a specialized state-of-the-art foot and ankle x-ray machine in the office, sometimes advanced imaging (MRI or CT) is required. If x-rays are taken, Drs. Goldfine make sure to review the radiographs with their patients.
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that occurs when your plantar fascia becomes irritated and inflamed. The plantar fascia is a group of thick tissue that runs along the bottoms of your feet. The plantar fascia connects your heel bone to your toes and absorbs shock as you walk.
Too much tension and repeated stress can cause overstretching and micro-tears in the plantar fascia. Over time, this repeated stress results in inflammation and stabbing heel pain. For many people, the pain of plantar fasciitis is most intense when taking the first steps out of bed in the morning.
If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can result in chronic pain and lead to complications with your hips, back, or knees.
Who gets plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis can affect anyone, but a few factors can increase your risks. These include:
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Nerve conditions
- Abnormal walking pattern
Plantar fasciitis typically affects people between the ages of 40 and 60. Having flat feet, high arches, or an abnormal walking pattern can put additional stress on the plantar fascia, leading to plantar fasciitis. Certain physical activities like running, tennis, or standing for long periods of time can also increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?
In some cases, your doctor can diagnose your condition based on your medical history and a physical exam. The location of your pain helps your doctor determine the underlying cause.
Depending on your condition, your doctor may conduct additional tests like X-rays or MRI scans to rule out other possible foot problems. The team uses a state-of-the-art foot and ankle X-ray to develop detailed images of your foot. After your diagnosis, your doctor works with you to determine the right treatment for your heel pain.
What treatments are available?
Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment may include:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Physical therapy
- RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
- Night splints
- Cortisone injections
At Ankle & Foot Centers of Georgia - West Cobb, the team is highly skilled in biomechanics and provides effective treatment to relieve your pain and address the underlying cause of your plantar fasciitis. The team offers custom orthotics as well as medical-grade over-the-counter inserts.
In some cases, your plantar fasciitis may require surgery. The team specializes in a number of safe and effective procedures, including incision-less and minimally invasive (arthroscopic) techniques. To learn the best way to treat your heel pain, book an appointment by phone or online today.
Our Podiatrists serve Marietta, Kennesaw, Hiram, Acworth, and surrounding areas!