Heel Pain Can Stop You in Your Tracks!

There are a variety of foot problems that affect Americans on a daily basis. It is important to remember though that pain isn’t normal and needs to be addressed. It is often the body’s way of alerting you that something is wrong or that a problem is imminent. An injury may have occurred or muscles and tendons could be strained to their limits and at risk of injury.

The heel bone is the largest of the 26 bones in the foot. Like any other bone in your body, its health and function can be compromised by numerous factors. Heel pain, which can occur in the front, back or bottom of the heel, is one of the most commonly experienced foot problems. Wearing shoes that irritate your feet, being overweight, running or playing sports on hard surfaces can damage sensitive tissues and put significant stress on your feet.

Heel pain can be very uncomfortable and even disabling. Ignoring symptoms and lack of treatment can lead to chronic pain and further foot problems. Fortunately, with early intervention and treatment from Dr. Pandya, your symptoms can be relieved and you can get back to enjoying life without foot pain.

Common Causes of Heel Pain

Haglund’s Deformity

This painful condition appears as a red, swollen bump on the back of the heel bone. Rubbing against shoes causes the bony enlargement to become irritated, which often leads to bursitis. Wearing high-heeled shoes with rigid heel cups tend to make women more prone to this condition than men. The correlation between this type of shoe and the development of this deformity has caused the condition to be commonly referred to as a “pump bump.”

Aside from shoes with rigid backs, inherited foot structures such as a high arched foot or a tight Achilles tendon can also make one prone to developing this deformity. Orthotics, shoe modifications, physical therapy and immobilization are common treatment methods and only severe cases typically require surgery.

Once you have had this deformity, there is a chance it will recur. Dr. Pandya can provide valuable prevention tips to keep your feet healthy and free from pain.

Heel Callus

A callus looks like a dry, scaly patch of skin and can develop on hands and feet. When the skin on your feet is exposed to excessive friction, it thickens to protect itself from injury. They are not usually painful at the beginning stages, but the more the skin builds up, the more pain they can cause. On heels, they can make it difficult to stand, walk or wear shoes comfortably.

A callus may be painful and unsightly and if left untreated may lead to further problems. If you notice thickening of skin on your heels, discoloration or have any pain, please contact Dr. Pandya for diagnosis and treatment.

Heel Fissures

This is another term for cracks in the skin. Heels are at risk for dry, cracked skin if you regularly walk barefoot or wear shoes that leave the heels exposed. Living in a cold, dry climate, being overweight, or having an underlying condition such as diabetes or psoriasis can make heels prone to fissures.

Minor fissures can be treated with a change of footwear and a deep skin moisturizer. Deep and painful fissures are important to treat appropriately as the risk of infection is high. This is especially critical if you have diabetes. Contact Dr. Pandya for information on what you can do to avoid this problem or how to best treat your skin if fissures have already formed.

Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Spur)

Pain on the bottom of the heel is often attributed to plantar fasciitis. This condition develops when the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, becomes irritated and inflamed. A faulty foot structure such as flat feet or having high arches is the most common cause for this injury. Obesity, type of occupation, footwear and overuse in sports activities are also related causes.

If you have pain when you step out of bed in the morning, or after you have been sitting for a while, do not delay in getting help. Dr. Pandya can provide a variety of treatment options such as custom orthotics, stretching exercises, physical therapy or shockwave treatment to relieve your symptoms. Call our office today and make an appointment if you suspect you may have plantar fasciitis.

Do not let your life be interrupted with heel pain. Dr. Pandya can determine the cause of your pain and prescribe the right course of treatment. With locations in Troy and Clifton Park, NY to serve you, please call us today at (518) 273-0053 to make an appointment.