Heel pain is the most common problem affecting the foot and ankle. Most often, we ignore the pain until it is worse. Atlanta heel pain may be from different etiologies so it is important to see a podiatrist to evaluate and treat you appropriately. The pain is usually under the heel or in the posterior aspect of the heel. The different causes of heel pain are discussed below.
Pain associated with plantar fasciitis is often expressed as pain in the plantar heel when patients take the first step in the morning or after a period of rest. This is due to inflammation of the plantar fascia band, which is a band of soft tissue extending from the bottom of your heel towards the base of your toes.
Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis includes careful evaluation of the origin of the pain and x-rays of the foot. Treatments include rest, stretching exercises, shoe inserts, icing, night splints, oral or topical anti- inflammatory medications.
Achilles Tendonitis pain occurs at the back of the heel where the Achilles’ tendon attaches to the heel. When the Achilles’ tendon becomes tight, it pulls on the back of the heel bone, and the body reacts to this pull by creating more bone called bone spurs in the back of the heel. With constant pulling of the Achilles’ tendon on this bone spur, this causes minor tears in the Achilles’ tendon at the point of its insertion to the heel bone. This then leads to inflammation of the tendon and pain.
Treatment includes the rest, use of orthotics, anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and inflammation, and heel lifts. Surgery is only necessary in cases where conservative treatment fails to relieve the pain.
Heel Pain in Children
Heel pain in children between the ages of 8 -12 is often due to inflammation of their growth plates in the heel bone. This pain often starts after taking part in some activities/exercise. This may cause the child to limp, and unable to bear weight on the painful heel. Treatment includes rest, ice, and immobilization of the affected foot.
Seeing your podiatrist for evaluation and diagnosis is very important as there are other causes of heel pain with similar symptoms. Other causes of heel pain include nerve injury, trauma, stress fracture, bone cyst, and foreign body.
Early diagnosis and treatment in our Atlanta office in Little Five Points will help get you back on your feet quickly. Our Atlanta Podiatrists are here to help you. Call our office at 770- 284- 1616 for an appointment.