Heel pain often happens because of overuse and other habits. If you’ve been experiencing heel pain, it’s important to change those habits before the pain gets worse and you develop a chronic condition. At Mountain View Foot & Ankle Care in El Monte, California, experienced podiatrist Ebram Abdelmalak, DPM, expertly diagnoses and treats conditions that cause heel pain, including plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
Heel pain has several different causes. Conditions that result in heel pain often result from overuse and cause symptoms in the bottom or back of your heel.
Common conditions with heel pain as a symptom include:
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition among runners and people whose jobs require them to stand for extended periods. It’s an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue that runs from your heels to your toes.
Achilles tendonitis is an injury of the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in your body, which runs down the back of your lower leg, connecting your calf to your heel bone. It’s common among runners and people in other recreational sports like tennis, basketball, and dancing.
A heel spur is a calcium build-up that causes the bone to grow and stick out. They often accompany soft tissue inflammation, including plantar fasciitis.
A stress fracture is a small crack that develops gradually in a bone from overuse, repetitive activity, or excess pressure. They can affect many of the bones in your feet, including your heels.
When you have heel pain, Dr. Abdelmalak performs a physical examination. This includes locating the pain in your foot and asking questions about your symptoms. For example, with certain conditions, the pain may be worse after you exercise or when you first get out of bed. Other conditions cause constant pain, and the type of pain may vary—whether it’s stabbing pain or a dull ache.
It’s often possible to confirm a diagnosis of conditions like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis without an imaging test. In some cases, if Dr. Abdelmarak can’t pinpoint your pain with a physical examination, he may order an MRI or X-ray. These tests can uncover stress fractures, heel spurs, and other sources of heel pain.
After diagnosing the cause of your heel pain, Dr. Abdelmarak devises a course of treatment.
Treatment for heel pain varies depending on the condition that causes it.
If you have an inflammatory condition like plantar fasciitis, Dr. Abdelmalak may recommend pain medication as well as the RICE protocol—rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Because stress and overuse is usually an underlying cause of heel pain, it’s important to relieve stress on your heel to avoid making the pain worse.
Dr. Abdelmarak also helps you prevent heel pain in the future. He may recommend changing your workout habits, including mixing running with other kinds of exercise and making sure not to increase the intensity of your routine too quickly. He can also provide orthotics, or shoe inserts, to support your feet properly.
Don’t ignore heel pain. Schedule an appointment at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Care online or over the phone.