The heel is the largest bone in the foot and responsible for bearing the weight of the entire body. Many people develop heel pain at some point in their lives, whether on the underside or back of the heel. In most cases, heel pain can be debilitating effecting a person’s quality of life, including the ability to stand, walk, or exercise without discomfort.
Did You Know...
Many conditions that cause heel pain can be avoided by wearing properly fitted shoes? Many people wear the wrong types and sizes of shows, resulting in crowding and poor foot support. To get the right fit, shop at the end of the day rather than in the morning, and always try on shows before buying to ensure you have plenty of toe room. Avoid high heels when possible, and look for shoes with an adjustable fit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of conditions can cause heel pain?
Heel pain can be caused by many different conditions, some more common than others. Often, patients who visit a podiatrist for heel pain are suffering from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. However, other conditions can also cause heel pain, including bone fractures, excessive pronation, gout, bursitis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, complex regional pain syndrome and peripheral neuropathy.
When should I see a podiatrist about my heel pain?
You should see a podiatrist for heel pain that persists for several weeks despite efforts of changing footwear, trying over the counter products, rest and ice. You should also contact your doctor about heel pain that continues when you are not standing or pain that is severe and occurs with swelling.
What types of treatments are available for people with heel pain?
Your podiatrist will examine your foot and may use diagnostic imaging to determine the cause of your heel pain. Depending on your diagnosis, your podiatrist will tailor a treatment plan and at times work along side other health care professionals within a multidisciplinary team approach.