One of the most common complaints heard by podiatrists is that of heel pain. As the largest of the 26 bones in the foot, the heel is designed to perform many tasks. While the heel is equipped to handle heavy loads, too much stress can lead to problems.
Symptoms of heel pain may be felt in the front, back, or bottom of the heel. Pain that is felt under the heel is most frequently associated with a condition known as, plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the base of the toes. Overuse or prolonged wear and tear on the heel can strain this band causing damage, inflammation, and pain. Other sources of heel discomfort may include, stress fractures, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation or cysts.
As plantar fasciitis can be a slow-healing and chronic condition, early diagnosis and intervention are important. Most individuals will experience improvements with conservative therapy alone. However, if symptoms are disabling and persistent even after an extended course of conservative treatment, then other approaches to care, including surgery, will be considered.
Since heel pain can occur for a variety of reasons, it is important when symptoms arise to contact our office for a thorough evaluation and care.