Why Do I Have Heel Pain?
You aren’t alone if you’re experiencing heel pain
Heel pain is one of the most common complaints seen by our Cypress orthopedist. A number of conditions and injuries can lead to pain in the heel, and these conditions may require quite different treatment regimens.
Is my heel pain caused by a bone spur?
Bone spurs on the bottom of the heel bone, or calcaneus, are generally an incidental finding on x-rays. They are rarely the source of heel pain. Therefore, our Cypress orthopedist does not surgically remove bone spurs from the bottom of the heel, as this does not generally treat the underlying problem.
More commonly, pain on the bottom of the heel is due to inflammation of the soft tissue lining of the bottom of the foot, termed plantar fasciitis. For this reason, you may not undergo an x-ray at your visit, unless a different condition is suspected.
How is plantar fasciitis treated? Should I get a steroid injection?
Plantar fasciitis requires a multimodal treatment plan in order to resolve the condition. However, this rarely includes a steroid injection, as injections do not cure plantar fasciitis and they may cause a number of complications. Instead, multiple conservative methods, including stretching and shoe-wear modifications, are often implemented to treat the problem. Even with the correct treatment, plantar fasciitis may take six to 12 months to fully resolve.
What else could be causing my heel pain?
Several other conditions can mimic plantar fasciitis and warrant evaluation by our Cypress orthopedist.
- Calcaneal fractures may be due to trauma, such as a fall. A stress fracture may also occur due to overuse and repetitive trauma, without a discrete injury.
- Heel contusion/bursitis can be another cause of heel pain. With less severe trauma, a heel contusion, or bruise, may occur rather than a fracture. Repetitive trauma may also cause inflammation of a bursa, or fluid-filled sac, which can form beneath the calcaneus.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, and causes irritation of a nerve that provides sensation to the bottom of the foot and heel. It may be misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis, but requires a much different treatment and a special nerve test to confirm.
- Achilles tendonitis causes pain primarily in the back of the heel rather than on the bottom of the heel. Treatment is often very similar to plantar fasciitis.
Should I see a doctor for my heel pain?
If you experienced any significant trauma, it should be evaluated by our Cypress orthopedist to rule out a fracture. Heel pain that does not improve over time, or presents with swelling, should also be checked out.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with our Cypress orthopedist and get back on your feet.
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Bone fractures
- Heel pain
- Congenital problems
- Corns and calluses
- Plantar warts