How often have you experienced mild heel pain and ignored it? Despite the fact that heel pain is very common, most people do not take pain seriously while walking, wearing high heels, or after exercise. The foot supports the entire body and is therefore under constant stress from walking and exercise, so it is no surprise that ignored heel pain eventually turns into a more serious problem.
Why do my heels hurt?
- The most common cause for heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes called the plantar fascia. Since it supports the arches, excessive and repetitive pounding of the foot can cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed and irritated.
- After chronic plantar fasciitis, heel spurs (calcium deposits) may develop at the site of attachment of the plantar fascia and heel bone. Similar to plantar fasciitis, heel spurs develop as a result of repetitive stress on the heel during exercise, or from standing on hard surfaces.
- Achilles tendinitis, inflammation of the Achilles tendon, causes pain at the back of the heel. Since the Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in our body and supports us in walking and jumping, it is commonly overused and causes microscopic tears along the tendon, which eventually causes pain and degeneration.
Treatment for these conditions are similar and may be a combination of the following:
- medication to reduce inflammation and pain
- special stretching exercises
- surgery if necessary
It is not always easy to know what is causing your heel pain, so it is always important to consult an experienced foot specialist like Dr. Gabriel Maislos. Here at Houston Foot & Ankle Care, we provide quality podiatric care to the Southwest Houston area and have state of the art technologies to help diagnose and treat all types of foot and ankle problems. If you suffer from heel pain or have any other concerns, contact us or call us at (713) 541-3199 to make an appointment.