Learn About Different Foot Conditions
Heel pain can affect either the back or bottom of the heel, and may be associated with a number of different foot conditions including:
Achilles tendonitis can be associated with pain in the back of your heel.
The foot has more than 30 different joints. This leaves it particularly susceptible to arthritis, which is commonly linked to heel pain.
When the bursae, or small cushions that protect the joints, become irritated, the resulting inflammation, or bursitis, can create heel pain.
Gout is linked to the buildup of uric acid in the small bones of the feet and can lead to the onset of arthritis.
Plantar fasciitis, or the inflammation of the plantar fascia, can lead to heel spurs. Heel spurs are painful calcium deposits on the bottom of the foot that can develop if plantar fasciitis is not properly identified and treated.
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can lead to significant foot and heel pain. Those with diabetes may be particularly susceptible to neuropathy. A family history of the condition can also increase your risk.
The most common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis is often caused by the arch of the foot becoming inflamed and irritated. It is commonly related to long periods of walking or standing. Untreated plantar fasciitis can trigger the development of heel spurs.
Although not a common cause of heel pain for most people, stress fractures often occur in athletes or runners. Sprains and strains may also increase the risk of developing heel pain.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
This condition is caused by the large nerve in the back of the foot becoming pinched or inflamed.
Heel pain that interferes with your daily activities or persists should be carefully evaluated by our experienced podiatrists, particularly if you are unable to walk comfortably, struggle to put weight on that foot, have pain in feet that occurs at night, or if the pain lasts more than a few days. Signs of infection or injury, including swelling, discoloration, fever, inflammation, or heat, should also be evaluated by a foot doctor as soon as possible. Treatment for your foot pain will vary based on the cause of your pain.
Diagnostic Foot Specialists may recommend:
- Customized inserts, which can better support your feet throughout the day
- Exercises, which can gently stretch the muscles and ligaments in your feet and reduce the risk of relapse
- Ice packs, which can reduce pain and inflammation particularly after an injury or as a result of increased symptoms
- Medications, which can help reduce pain and swelling
Our doctor may recommend over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or we may recommend prescription drugs for more serious pain.
Rest, which can give your feet time to heal and provide relief from pain, swelling or inflammation
Any amount of pain in the feet can indicate the presence of injury or disease. An accurate diagnosis of your pain can help our doctors make the best treatment recommendations to help you fully recover and get back to your favorite activities. If you are suffering from pain, discomfort, or any decrease of function in one or both feet, we can help. Contact our Houston heel pain doctor today to schedule your consultation.