Don't let heel pain slow you down

When every step is agony, it's easier just to sink back into the couch and turn on the TV. But heel pain doesn't have to prevent you from doing the things you enjoy. Jade Gittens, DPM, your podiatrist in Somerset, NJ, shares information about heel pain and treatments.

Heel pain causes

Inflammation is a common cause of heel pain and can be caused by overuse, particularly if you're a runner or are involved in a sport that's played on hard surfaces. Pain can be a problem if you suddenly start a vigorous exercise routine or increase the level of intensity of your workout. Heel pain doesn't just affect athletes. It can also occur if you wear shoes that don't provide enough support or irritate your heel and foot.

Common types of heel pain

Although heel pain can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from injuries to arthritis, some types of heel pain are particularly common, including:

Stone bruise: A stone bruise can develop on the bottom of your heel if you step on a rock or other hard object.

Retrocalcaneal bursitis: The retrocalcaneal bursa is a fluid-filled sac located in the area where your Achilles tendon connects the heel to the calf muscle. It can become inflamed and irritated, causing heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis: One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that that runs along the bottom of your foot from your toes to your heel. If this band of tissue becomes inflamed, pain can occur. Plantar fasciitis pain may be worse in the morning and improves as the day goes on.

How can a foot doctor help?

Resting your heel, applying ice and taking over-the-counter pain medications can help improve pain in many cases. If you still have pain, it's time for a visit to a podiatrist. Your foot doctor will perform a thorough examinations and ask you a variety of questions to determine the cause of your condition. Depending on the cause, she may recommend stretches, heel pad shoe inserts, physical therapy, night splints or prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medication. Although most cases of heel pain can be successfully treated without surgery, it's the best alternative in some cases.

Heel pain doesn't have to change your life. If you're tired of dealing with the pain, call Somerset, NJ, podiatrist Jade Gittens, DPM, of Premier Foot and Ankle Center at (732) 412-1282 and schedule an appointment.

Dr. Jade Gittens

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