Walking, standing and running, activities most of us take for granted, become anything but routine when heel pain strikes. Dr. Barry Finkelstein, your Bronx, NY podiatrist at NYNJ Foot and Ankle Associates, discusses a few heel pain causes and explains how a foot doctor can help you.
Heel pain can occur if you increase the intensity of a workout or suddenly start a new, vigorous exercise routine. Overuse injuries typically affect runners and people who play sports on hard surfaces.
Poorly fitting shoes
Wearing shoes that don't fit well can irritate your foot and heel, causing pain. Switching to another pair of shoes usually stops the problem.
A stone bruise occurs when you injure the fat pad at the bottom of your heel. The injury can occur when you step on a hard object, participate in activity that involves frequent jumping, or are a runner. You're more likely to develop a stone bruise if you run with a heel strike instead of a forefoot landing.
The retrocalcaneal bursa, a fluid-filled sac, is found in the spot where your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel. If it becomes inflamed, you'll feel pain in your heel. It's a common overuse injury that can also occur if you don't use the proper form when exercising.
Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes. If the tissue becomes inflamed, you'll develop heel pain. You're more likely to develop this common condition if you stand for long periods of time, are a long distance runner, wear shoes without adequate arch support or are between the ages of 40 to 70.
How can my Bronx podiatrist help me?
In many cases, heel pain will get better if you stay off your heel as much as possible, apply ice packs and take pain relievers. If the pain doesn't improve or worsens, your foot doctor will perform a thorough examination and find the source of the problem. Treatment depends on the cause of the problem, but your podiatrist may recommend stretches, physical therapy, night splints, heel pad inserts or prescription medication. Although surgery usually isn't needed for heel pain, it may be recommended in some instances.
Are you tired of living with heel pain? Call Dr. Finkelstein, your Bronx, NY podiatrist at NYNJ Foot and Ankle Associates, at (718) 881-7990 to schedule an appointment.