Heel Pain: Common Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Many people suffer from heel pain at some point in their life. There are many different possible causes for this type of pain, including plantar fasciitis. Injuries to the heel are pretty common because it is the point of support for every step a person takes. Therefore a lot of stress gets placed on this area. Some injuries can be so bad as to require surgery, depending on how bad they are.
If you suspect your heel is the cause of your pain, making sure to get it checked out by a doctor or a New York heel pain specialist will help better determine what exactly is causing your pain.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
It is the most common cause of heel pain. Foot specialists in New York state say that plantar fasciitis affects around 2 million people per year and occurs when the ligament (plantar fascia) on the bottom of your foot gets inflamed, resulting in very sharp pain under the heel.
- Rupture of the Plantar Fascia
It occurs when the ligament ruptures, and it is associated with an audible popping or snapping sound. It can be excruciating at first but usually gets better on its own within six weeks. If you suspect you have ruptured your plantar fascia, your feet specialist in New York may be able to help by injecting a steroid that can heal this type of injury much faster.
It is a general term that describes pain in the forefoot. There are many possible symptoms as well as root problems. The symptoms include burning, tingling, and numbness in the ball of your foot, as well as a stabbing pain when you step down. In some cases, the metatarsal bones of your foot will protrude from the bottom of your foot, and this can cause a lot of pressure when standing or walking, resulting in pain that gets worse over time.
Symptoms of Heel Pain
Many symptoms can point towards heel pain, but they vary depending on the specific injury. Some of these signs include pain when standing or walking, swelling at the back of your foot, redness in the affected area, and discoloration of the skin around the affected areas.
Treatment Options for Heel Pain
If your pain is not due to a broken bone, some basic self-care options can help alleviate the pain. Some of these include:
- Take anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or use an ice pack for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off throughout the day.
- Comfortable shoes that fit well
- Sockettes are softballs that provide padding between your toes and the inside of your shoes. You can find these at most drugstores for under $5.
- Heel pads or shoe inserts that help with shock absorption and support
Your doctor may also recommend a cortisone injection if many other treatments have not been successful.
In extreme cases, you may need surgery to correct a problem if other treatments fail. Surgery is usually the last resort and only recommended when all other types of corrective measures have failed.
To summarize, heel pain is a common condition that results from various causes, including plantar fasciitis, rupture of the plantar fascia, and metatarsalgia. You may experience pain when walking or standing and discoloration of the skin around the affected area. You can treat heel pain at home, but severe cases need surgery.