Managing Your Time With An Orthopedist

Everything You Need To Know About Heel Pain

Heel pain can make it hard to live your life. Not only can it make it hard to walk, but it may even affect other parts of your body. If you would like to know more, keep reading.

What Causes Heel Pain?  

Heel pain is often caused by something wrong with the ligaments or tendons in the foot or ankle. This includes plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, which result from tightness, fatigue, or damage in the fascia and Achilles tendon respectfully. This is often caused by poor shoe support. In some cases, one can cause or exacerbate the other.

In other cases, the joint itself is affected. Bursitis is a temporary joint inflammation from inflammation of the bursae sac around a joint. Similarly, rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory joint disease, and osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joint.

Other causes of heel pain include:

What Are the Symptoms of Heel Pain?

The exact symptoms of heel pain depend on the cause, but it usually presents with pain when you move the affected joint and/or put weight on the joint. You may also have limited mobility and a reduced range of motion, especially if a joint, ligament, or tendon is affected.

In some cases, the area looks red or swollen, and it may feel warm to the touch. In some cases, like with plantar fasciitis, the pain may fully disappear when the foot is at rest.

What Are the Complications of Heel Pain?

If left untreated, heel pain can lead to a handful of complications. First, if left untreated, the condition can worsen or lead to additional problems, such as fracture, ligament tear, inflammation, and more pain.

Heel pain doesn't always remain in the heel. The stress the injury puts on the heel can affect the rest of the leg, leading to pain in the knees, thighs, and hips. In many cases, the pain stretches all the way to the base of the spine, causing lower back pain.

How Is Heel Pain Treated?

Heel pain treatment starts with RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This gives the heel time to heel while reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain. Depending on the pain level, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications, or prescribe pain medications.

After the area heals, you might need some physical therapy to help regain mobility, range of motion, and strength. In extreme cases, surgery is needed to help repair bones, ligaments, joints, or tendons. Many patients find long-term relief and prevention from shoe inserts that provide better support.

There are many causes of heel pain, ranging from over-use to fracture. Regardless of the cause, however, heel pain can make it hard to walk and live your life. If you would like to know more, contact an orthopedist in your area today.