Do you have heel pain? If so, it could be due to a number of causes. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments that can treat the problem and relieve the pain.
Robert Douglas Bostick III, MD, of Metairie Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Metairie, Louisiana, is an expert in diagnosing and treating foot and ankle issues. In this blog, he explains what can cause heel pain and how it can be treated.
What causes heel pain?
A number of conditions can cause heel pain, and one of the most common is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a strong ligament that connects your heel to the base of your toes.
Other problems that can lead to heel pain include:
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Stress fracture
- Achilles tendonitis
- Haglund's deformity
- Sever's disease
Less common causes of heel pain include an infection in the bone (osteomyelitis), bone cysts, and gout.
No matter what's causing your heel pain, you must find an effective treatment option as soon as possible. Prolonged heel pain without treatment could result in days off of work and missed social events.
Effective treatments for heel pain
When it comes to treating minor heel pain, resting the heel and putting cold packs on it may bring relief. However, if the issue is severe or chronic, you may need professional expertise.
First, Dr. Bostick will perform a thorough evaluation and pinpoint what’s causing your heel pain. Once he diagnoses the issue, he can design a treatment plan. The plan he creates could involve one or more of the following:
1. Anti-inflammatory medications
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve heel pain. These medications inhibit the inflammatory processes and thereby reduce the swelling.
2. Physical therapy
Physical therapy is often effective in reducing heel and other types of pain. Depending on your case, your physical therapist will design a treatment plan that includes specific stretches and exercises to strengthen your foot and reduce your pain.
If a structural issue is leading to your heel pain, Dr. Bostick may recommend custom orthotics. These devices, which are created specifically for your foot, can provide support and balance.
4. Athletic taping
Athletic taping can give your foot better support. With this treatment, Dr. Bostick applies a special tape to your foot to help provide support, which, in turn, can help relieve pain.
Heel pain sometimes stems from tight calf muscles. If this is the case, Dr. Bostick can recommend exercises that can stretch these muscles.
6. Steroid injections
If conservative treatments, such as the ones listed above, don’t help enough, Dr. Bostick may recommend corticosteroid injections. These injections have significant anti-inflammatory properties and can provide long-term pain relief.
If the issue is severe, or if other treatments fail to provide relief, Dr. Bostick may recommend surgery. The type of surgery Dr. Bostick recommends would depend on your specific case.
If you have heel pain, you don’t have to just suffer with it. Dr. Bostick can help. To learn more, call 504-541-5800 or book an appointment online with Metairie Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today.