Frequent or persistent heel pain can make even simple tasks such as taking the dog for a walk or running errands painful. At North Central Texas Foot & Ankle, in Decatur and Roanoke, Texas, the team of expert podiatrists specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of heel pain. If heel pain is negatively impacting your quality of life, make an appointment today by calling the office nearest you or clicking the online booking tool.

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What is heel pain?

Heel pain is any type of irritation or discomfort that affects the back or underside of your heel. Heel pain usually isn’t the sign of a more serious health problem, but it can interfere with day-to-day activities such as exercise.

Most cases of heel pain subside on their own with conservative measures of care such as rest, ice, and over-the-counter painkillers. However, if your pain persists for more than a week or progressively gets worse, it’s important to seek professional medical help at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle.

What are the causes of heel pain?

The two most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. Plantar fasciitis causes pain directly beneath your heel, while Achilles tendonitis causes pain at the back of your heel. Other causes of heel pain include:

  • Bone tumors
  • Heel spurs
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stress fractures

You might also experience heel pain if you have Tarsal tunnel syndrome or osteomyelitis, the medical term for a bone infection.

How is heel pain diagnosed?

To diagnose heel pain, your North Central Texas Foot & Ankle provider reviews your medical history, asks you questions about your symptoms, and physically examines your foot and heel.

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor might also ask you to stand up, sit down, and walk around the exam room to observe your gait and posture. If these steps don’t provide adequate information, your doctor might order a series of digital X-rays or other imaging to examine the bones and other structures in your feet. After taking all of this information into account, your doctor pinpoints the underlying cause of your heel pain.

How is heel pain treated?

Treatment for heel pain depends on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause. Whenever possible, the team at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle uses conservative, noninvasive methods of care. Depending on your symptoms, they might recommend:

  • At-home exercises
  • Alternating between ice and heat
  • Physical therapy
  • Custom orthotics
  • Medical-grade supplements

If your symptoms persist, your podiatrist might recommend corticosteroid injections to relieve inflammation. You might also benefit from regenerative medicine treatments such as platelet-rich plasma therapy. In rare instances, surgical intervention may be necessary.

If heel pain is preventing you from participating in activities you love, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Make an appointment at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle today by calling the office nearest you or by clicking the online booking tool.