When people think of foot pain, it's common to picture the toes or ankle. Discomfort in the heel, however, shouldn't be forgotten as it strikes about 2 million people each year and is responsible for approximately 15% of all foot issues. A number of conditions can contribute to this pain.
Dr. Eric Blanson and our highly trained team at PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic in Spring, Texas, provide comprehensive, patient-centric care for a wide variety of foot and ankle issues. We use innovative treatments to address everything from sports injuries to podiatry conditions like bunions to pain such as in the heel — all with the goal of getting you back on your feet pain-free as soon as possible.
Causes of heel pain
In most cases, heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. This occurs when a thick band of elastic tissue called the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects from the heel to the toes, gets inflamed from overstretching. Some of the primary symptoms of this issue include stabbing pain in your heel and pain when you first get out of bed in the morning or after other periods of inactivity.
Jumping and other types of overuse of the Achilles tendon can cause it to flare up and result in symptoms like heel pain and swelling, a limited range of motion, and tight calf muscles.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which there is a systemic attack on your joints. Symptoms in the foot and ankle affect over 90% of people with RA. Signs can include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling usually in the same joint on both sides of the body.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the foot's posterior tibial nerve is compressed because of an injury, bone spur, or inflammation of the tendon. Symptoms can include general foot pain, heel pain that cycles between constant or shooting, a burning sensation near the heel, and/or a feeling of numbness at the base of the foot.
Osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions can cause damage in your heel joints that may result in bone spurs when the body adds new bone material to the existing bone to try to heal it. You may experience joint pain and stiffness, muscle weakness, and/or nerve pain.
Repetitive overuse or strenuous exercise can stress the heel bone and result in a fracture. Symptoms may include heel pain that is acute or chronic, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking.
Treatment for heel pain
Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options depending on the underlying cause. These can include conservative recommendations like RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, elevation), stretching, more comfortable shoes, and orthotics. If these remedies do not work, we also offer cutting-edge procedures like treatment with stem cells and platelet-rich plasma as well as laser therapy.
If you're tired of suffering with heel pain, call our office at 832-224-5604, or click our book online button today to discover the cause and get started on the road to recovery.