There are many causes for heel pain, some more serious than others. Unusually long periods of walking or standing can irritate the heel and can be managed quite easily with rest, ice and inflammation reduction. Biomechanical stress from poor foot posture that compromises heel health generally needs more intervention. Replacing old shoes or improperly fitting shoes with new ones, and the use of shoe inserts/orthotics can improve heel pain dramatically.
If the heel pain does not subside and is severe enough to interfere with your daily activities you have probably developed an overuse condition. Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, or a nerve entrapment are all conditions that originate from the heel area.
The plantar fascia, is a thick band of tissue that runs from your heel bone to the ball of your foot. When this tissue becomes overstretched it can become inflamed and sore. Symptoms can include pain in the heel and/or arch on the first few steps of the day or after periods of rest. You should see your podiatrist immediately if your symptoms include:
- Swelling near the heel with severe pain
- Inability to bend the foot downward
- Heel pain, numbness, or tingling, along with a fever
- An injury followed by severe heel pain
Your podiatrist will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.