Aching heels are far from uncommon. According to a 2014 survey of Americans conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association, more than 1 in 4 reported having had some form of heel pain.
Heel pain can stem from a variety of causes, and finding the best, most effective form of treatment depends on finding those causes. Too often, unfortunately, sufferers will try one or two general treatments and then resign themselves to their everyday pain when they don’t work.
The truth, however, is that the vast majority of heel pain cases can be treated or managed well with the right methods! That’s where we come in.
What Causes Heel Pain?
When we talk about heel pain, it most often refers to pain felt in the bottom or back of the heel.
While the heel bone itself is a relatively large structure compared to other parts of the foot, there are also many surrounding structures that can be responsible for the pain.
The most common form of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs beneath the foot and connects the base of the toes to the heel.
Another common cause is Achilles tendinitis, inflammation of the tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle.
Many other less common causes include arthritis, stress fractures, bursitis, Haglund’s deformity, heel spurs, tarsal tunnel syndrome, a bone infection, a stone bruise…
Like we said, there are many potential causes. Having the correct diagnosis and understanding the underlying reasons it has happened will guide our path to effective treatment.
Treatments for Heel Pain
The primary goals of heel pain treatment are to take care of symptoms, accelerate healing when necessary, and prevent conditions that can cause heel pain from coming back.
For pain treatment and healing of soft tissue injuries, laser treatment can be a very effective tool. This form of treatment uses specific wavelengths of light energy to penetrate the site of an injury and stimulate the repair activities of cells. Heel pain this is a result of sports injuries can benefit in particular from laser.
If the source of your heel pain stems from an abnormality in your gait or foot structure, we may recommend the use of custom orthotic inserts. These devices would be specially made to match the specific needs of your feet, providing support and offloading excess pressure from areas that are causing stress and pain.
Additional forms of treatment may be recommended on a case-by-case basis. Conservative measures will always be considered before surgery, and surgical procedures are very rarely ever needed—only if conservative measures don’t provide the relief that is needed.
No matter how long you have been enduring heel pain, not seeking help is the worst thing you can do. We have treatments and advice that can help patients regain much-needed comfort and mobility, no matter your age, activity level, or occupation.
Schedule an appointment by calling our Alexandria office at (703) 560-3773. If you prefer to contact us electronically instead, you can use our online contact form to reach our staff.