Walking, standing and exercising become challenging if you have heel pain. Fortunately, your North Shore podiatrist, Dr. Gary Rogers, can determine why you have pain and offer effective treatments for your condition.
If your pain started after you stepped on a hard object, you may have a stone bruise. The condition can also occur if you wear worn-out shoes or footwear that doesn't provide enough support when you exercise.
A stone bruise forms in the layer of fat that cushions your heel and can be quite painful. The bruises usually go away after a week or two. If your condition doesn't improve, your podiatrist on the North Shore can fit you with orthotics, custom-designed shoe inserts that cushion your heel and reduce pain.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain and is more likely to occur if you stand on your feet for hours, have flat feet or high arches, are overweight, run for exercise, or are between the ages of 40 and 60.
Pain is usually worse first thing in the morning or after you begin to move again if you've been inactive for a while. Plantar fasciitis is caused by an inflammation in the plantar fascia, a tough band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. If you're diagnosed with the condition, your foot doctor may recommend orthotics, night splints to stretch the fascia while you sleep, exercises and physical therapy. Surgery is only an option if other treatments aren't successful.
Inflammation is also a problem if you have Achilles tendonitis. The long tendon that connects your heel to your calf muscle can become inflamed if you work out harder or longer than usual or participate in sports or activities that require repetitive motions. Runners are particularly at risk for Achilles tendonitis, as are people who have tight calf muscles or unstable ankles.
Treatment for Achilles tendonitis may include orthotics, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections or extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
Heel spurs are calcium deposits that form on the bottom of your heel. Although not all heel spurs cause symptoms, the deposits can make walking and standing painful. People who've had plantar fasciitis are more likely to develop heel spurs, as are runners. Other risk factors include gait problems, leg length discrepancies and poorly fitting shoes.
Treatment may include orthotics, exercises, night splints or physical therapy. Most heel spurs improve with these treatment methods, although a small percentage require surgical removal.
Don't let heel pain keep you off your feet. Your North Shore, IL, foot doctor, diagnoses and treats a variety of painful heel conditions. Call his Wilmette office at (847) 256-4434 to schedule your appointment.