Heel pain can affect your daily activities, and you may need expert intervention in order to find relief. The team at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County has extensive experience in treating many potential causes of heel pain, including plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. For an expert evaluation, book online or call for an appointment with our office in Santa Cruz or Watsonville, California.
Heel Pain Q & A
What is heel pain?
Heel pain can be characterized by pain on the underside and back of your foot, where you bear the bulk of your weight when walking. Types of heel pain are usually distinguished by the location of the pain: either pain behind the heel bone or pain beneath the heel bone.
Depending on the location of your pain, your heel pain may be related to these most common causes:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spur
- Stone bruise
Of these causes, the most common are plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Your foot specialists at the Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County determine the underlying source of your pain after a thorough exam and health history.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tendon that creates the arch of your foot. This tendon attaches at the edge of your heel bone and extends the length of your foot.
When this tendon becomes inflamed from overuse or lack of arch support, you may have:
- Pain after rest
- Swelling on the heel
- Tenderness of the heel
Plantar fasciitis symptoms may come and go. Obesity and having a job where you are required to stand for long periods of time can increase your risk for this condition.
What are heel spurs?
Another common cause for heel pain is heel spurs. A heel spur is a growth on the bone near the plantar tendon. This is usually due to long-term stress placed on the back of the heel, where the tendon attaches to the bone.
This bone spur irritates and inflames the tendon, creating pain and tenderness similar to plantar fasciitis. Your condition may be diagnosed using X-ray, which may show the bony spur.
What treatments are available for heel pain?
Depending on the cause of your heel pain, your podiatrist may suggest one or several treatments to help you find relief.
These treatments include:
- Ice therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Steroid injections
In persistent cases, extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) may be used to treat your heel pain. Surgery is rarely needed.
For expert diagnosis and treatment of your heel pain, call or book an appointment online today.