Common Causes Of Heel Pain

Are you wondering what’s causing your heel pain?

Heel pain is a real nuisance. When people turn to our Wilmette, IL, podiatrist Dr. Gary Rogers and the Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic team for their heel pain, the first thing they want to know is what caused their heel pain. Here’s what you should know,

The Two Biggest Heel Pain Culprits

There are two leading causes of heel pain: plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. The best way to determine which condition is causing your pain is to pinpoint the location of your discomfort. If you notice that the pain is directly under your heel bone, you are most likely dealing with plantar fasciitis. However, if the pain is more toward the back of the heel or base of the Achilles, you are probably dealing with Achilles tendinitis. here

Plantar Fasciitis

Symptoms: You may experience symptoms for months or even years if you do not seek proper medical attention. The pain is usually right under the heel, and you may notice that the most severe pain occurs upon waking. You may also find that the pain eases after walking but returns after periods of rest.

Treatment: Several ways to treat this condition include over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, physical therapy exercises like rolling a ball along the heel, and wearing orthotic devices such as custom shoe inserts or splinting. We also recommend icing your heel up to three times daily for no more than 20 minutes. 

Achilles Tendinitis 

Symptoms: Those with Achilles tendinitis will experience pain on the back of the leg near the heel. Repeated stress to the tendon can cause this condition, and we often see this happening in those who suddenly increase their physical activity. You may notice stiffness in the morning or pain that worsens with movement. You may notice severe pain the next day if you are still exercising regularly. This pain may also be accompanied by swelling that fluctuates throughout the day. 

Treatment: Like with plantar fasciitis, we recommend resting and switching your exercise to more low-impact activities (e.g., swimming) that won’t put unnecessary pressure on the tendon. Ice therapy and NSAID pain relievers can also reduce swelling and inflammation. Stretching exercises like the calf stretch and heel drop can also help strengthen your muscles and improve your symptoms.

What To See a Podiatrist?

While minor heel pain can be eased with home care and rest, sometimes it’s essential that you turn to our Evanston area podiatrist for professional care. Here are some signs that it’s time to schedule an appointment with us,

  • You can’t put weight on the foot
  • You walk with a limp
  • Your heel pain persists despite rest
  • Your heel lingers for days
  • Your heel pain is sharp, stabbing or severe
  • You have severe swelling
  • You notice discoloration of the heel
  • You develop a “pins and needles” sensation in the feet

Our podiatrist, Dr. Rogers, is proud to serve the Wilmette, IL, community. If you are dealing with heel pain, turn to the experts today. Call Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic at (847) 256-4434.

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