Heel pain is a common complaint, and can affect active individuals as well as those who are less active. There are a number of problems that can cause heel pain and four of the most common are explored below.
Plantar fasciitis usually hurts when getting up out of bed in the morning or after sitting and standing. It can be aggravated by activities such as running or standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces. You should try icing, stretching your calf muscles, and decreasing high impact activities. If there is still pain, then an appointment with your doctor is the next step. Your doctor may offer you physical therapy, a night splint, orthotics, or a steroid injection.
Achilles tendonitis or retrocalcaneal bursitis is pain in the back of the heel. It can be aggravated by shoes, a tight heel cord, participating in high impact sports, or driving long distances. You should try icing, stretching, and decreasing high impact activities. If there is still pain then an appointment with your doctor is the next step. Your doctor may offer you physical therapy, a night splint, a walking boot, heel lifts, or padding to accommodate the area.
Fractures or stress fractures may happen from overuse or from trauma. You may see bruising or swelling and have pain every time you put your heel down. You should try icing and over the counter pain relievers and make an appointment with your doctor for imaging and further tests.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is numbness or tingling in your heel that can go down to your toes or feel like it is going up your ankle. You should try icing and over the counter pain relievers. If you have no improvement then you should make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor may offer you orthotics, better shoe choices, ankle bracing, a boot, physical therapy, or even surgery.
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Dr. Dana Cozzetto is a podiatrist with Mercy Medical Group in Carmichael. She is board certified in podiatric medicine, foot and ankle surgery and specializes in tendinitis, bunions, fractures, and sports-related injuries. For more information about Dr. Cozzetto, click here: https://dignityhlth.org/cozzetto