Heel Pain General Information

Although rarely serious, heel pain can have a considerable impact on a person's life. Glenoaks Podiatry Group in Glendale, California understands how acute or chronic heel pain can limit mobility. After all, a person uses their heels in almost every single activity from sitting on the couch to enjoy a movie to getting in your 30 minutes of exercise for the day. Managing, and eventually eliminating, that heel pain requires a proper diagnosis and specialized care plan. Call the office or book an appointment online today to discuss how to address your heel pain.

Heel Pain Q & A

How does the heel work?

The heel works to distribute the forces exerted by every step. If you think about it, that’s a phenomenal accomplishment – one that is more complex than most people realize. The heel consists of tissue filled with a system of pressure chambers that work like shock absorbers. The chambers are made up of fibrofatty tissue covered by tough connective bands that help stabilize the sole of the foot. The walls of the chambers attach to the connective tissue of the arch and the skin on the bottom of the foot.

This intricate design requires a key muscle tendon to support it, as well. The Achilles tendon is a three-pronged group of muscles that help the foot stretch downward, and, working in conjunction with another critical tendon, facilitates most kinds of foot movement.

What causes heel pain?

It varies from person to person, but most heel pain is directly related to the tissue at the bottom of the foot and the Achilles tendon. Some common conditions that may cause pain in this area include:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Bursitis
  • Haglund’s deformity
  • Heel spur
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Stress fracture

The podiatrists at Glenoaks Podiatry Group will do an extensive exam of the foot in order to diagnose the problem and create a customized treatment plan to eliminate the heel pain.

Does all heel pain require a trip to the podiatrist?

Recurring pain certainly warrants medical evaluation. Podiatrists like the specialists at Glenoaks Podiatry Group are experts in the field, so it is your best chance at getting a proper diagnosis. Without knowing the exact cause of the pain, it is difficult to manage it.

Patients definitely need an appointment if:

  • The heel pain is extreme and immobilizing
  • The foot will not bend downward or allow for a normal stride
  • The foot will not support weight
  • The heel pain is accompanied by fever, numbness, or a tingling sensation
  • The pain comes after an injury

Mild heel pain might respond well to home care, though, like staying off the foot, applying ice and maybe even wearing different shoes. In some cases, using an over-the-counter foot support device is helpful, as well.

Patients share their experience