The heel bone plays an essential role in your stability, posture, and ability to bear weight. Damage to the bone itself, or the tissues that support the heel, can interfere with your flexibility and mobility.
Many conditions and injuries can cause heel pain, including:
The most common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation of the tissue that supports the heel and arch. When the plantar fascia swells and thickens, it can become rigid. Running, walking, and standing for long periods may aggravate plantar fasciitis and impact your mobility.
Heel spurs are bony growths that develop from repetitive stress and pressure. Many people with plantar fasciitis also have heel spurs.
A heel fracture is a bone break that can occur suddenly or develop gradually. Swelling, bruising, and obvious bone deformities are the most common symptoms of heel fractures.
Haglund’s deformity is a painful enlargement of the heel bone that can become red, swollen, and irritated when you wear shoes.
Heel calluses occur when one metatarsal bone is lower or longer than the rest. As a result, the skin underneath the bone thickens and becomes irritated.
Heel fissures are cracks in the skin around the heel. The skin in the back of your heel appears dry, cracked, and thickened. Certain conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, increase your risk of heel fissures.
Achilles tendonitis causes the tendon that connects your heel to your calf to inflame. Repetitive stress or strain on the tendon can lead to chronic pain. In some cases, the Achilles tendon can even rupture.
Dr. Kassab performs a wide range of diagnostic tests onsite to uncover the source of your heel pain. In addition to a comprehensive foot exam and gait analysis, she may recommend imaging scans. X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans are just a few types of imaging tests Dr. Kassab may order to investigate symptoms of heel pain.
After diagnosing the cause of your heel pain, Dr. Kassab can create your individualized treatment plan. She may recommend one or more of the following treatments for heel pain:
Dr. Kassab also performs extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT), a noninvasive procedure that sends shock waves into soft tissues to repair the damage.
To learn more about heel pain, call Bloomfield Family Footcare or schedule an appointment online today.