Heel pain is particularly irritating for athletes who depend on a healthy body to train for or participate in their sport. Don’t let heel pain sideline your workout. Let your Fairfax, VA podiatrist Dr. Steven R. Vetter, DPM help you keep your feet and ankles healthy so you do not miss a single set.
What causes heel pain?
While one of the most common causes of heel pain is simple overuse, there are other common conditions and situations which cause your feet to hurt. These include:
- bone spur
- plantar fasciitis
- damage to the heel pads
- tarsal tunnel syndrome
- stress fractures
- pinched nerves
How is heel pain treated?
Treatment for heel pain depends on many factors, including the severity of the pain, the underlying conditions and the patients themselves. Often, at-home treatment for heel pain does enough to allow the body to heal itself over time. Icing the foot several times a day in 15-minute intervals helps relieve swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen help relieve pain. Additionally, simply staying off of your foot and resting while it heals helps tremendously. However, sometimes at-home treatment is just not enough. Your Fairfax doctor can help you determine the best treatment plan for your situation.
How can my podiatrist help?
Your podiatrist starts with a physical examination at which he will gather information on your medical and family history. MRIs and x-rays help your doctor see inside of your foot to visually see any abnormalities or problems with your muscles, tendons or bones. Since the cause of heel pain may be difficult to pinpoint, it is helpful to keep a log of your heel pain leading up to your appointment. Include the level of pain, when it occurs, what helps or makes it worse and how long it lasts. Additionally, try to describe what kind of pain you have (aching, stabbing, radiating, etc.).
Your doctor might prescribe physical therapy to help rebuild damaged muscles or improve range of motion. You might also have to wear a custom orthotic, which fits inside of your shoe to correct the distribution of your body weight or gait. Some severe cases may require surgery.
For more information on heel pain, please contact Dr. Steven R. Vetter, DPM at Oakton Foot and Ankle in Fairfax, VA. Call (703) 352-8888 to schedule your appointment today!