What Is Heel Pain & How Can It Be Treated?

Your feet and heels bear the weight of your entire body. Any discomfort, swelling, burning, or painful sensations can interrupt your day and limit your ability to drive, walk, or even stand. Don’t let heel pain affect your day or inhibit your lifestyle! Learn why you’re experiencing heel pain and explore possible treatment options. While heel pain typically affects adults, your little ones can suffer from heel pain too. Addressing heel pain as it presents itself will help you and your family stay on track and avoid more serious heel problems.

Mom and daughter jumping on a couch

What is heel pain?

In general, we define pain in the heel as an uncomfortable sensation underneath or in the back of the foot. If you experience pain in your heel for six months or less, this usually is considered acute or short-term pain. If you experience pain in the area of your heel for six months or more, this is often considered long-term or chronic pain. When determining the cause of your heel pain (in one or both heels), podiatrists will typically factor in your age, the type of shoes you wear, your level of activity, and more.

Woman Sitting on Couch Evaluating Aching Heel Pain

What causes heel pain?

While injuries can contribute to heel pain, pain is typically a symptom of an underlying condition. Working with a heel pain specialist to diagnose the cause of your heel pain is encouraged since every person is unique.

  • Plantar Fasciitis is a condition in which the connective tissue found on the bottom of a person’s foot is inflamed. If you have Plantar Fasciitis, you are most likely experiencing stabbing pain in the heel and in your toes.
  • Arthritis is a painful condition that will cause the heel (and other joints) to swell. Arthritis can be managed through a variety of modern treatments.
  • Inflamed or irritated nerves (caused by injury, certain shoes, activity, or hereditary factors) can create an array of heel pain issues.
  • A stress fracture describes a crack in a person’s calcaneus, sending shooting, stabbing, and aching pain throughout the heel and foot.
  • Heel spurs, or growths created by calcium deposits in the heel, can be extremely painful and unsightly.

If you suspect you may have any of these conditions, contact our team of Scottsdale heel pain specialists. We work quickly and conservatively to treat heel pain. Book an appointment online or by calling (480) 661-7572.

What symptoms are associated with heel pain?

In addition to general pain and discomfort, patients may experience the following symptoms when there’s an issue within the heel.

  • Difficulty putting pressure on heel or distributing weight
  • Tenderness
  • Soreness
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Tingling or burning
  • Tightness

Heel pain symptoms can be debilitating. While heel pain may not be cured after one doctor’s visit, you can find relief through ankle and foot braces and orthotics. Connect with your local Scottsdale podiatrist to schedule an appointment before heel pain becomes unmanageable.

How can you prevent heel pain?

Aches and pains in your heels can often be prevented through gentle stretching and wearing shoes that fit appropriately. When sitting at work or at home, try slowly rolling your toes and heels over a tennis ball or rolling pin, moving your foot up and down and side to side. If you notice pain or discomfort while stretching your feet, check your shoes. Are they supporting your ankle, heels, and toes? Shoes that are worn should be replaced. We recommend investing in custom foot orthotics for shoes that have limited padding (like flats or boots).

What treatment options are available for heel pain?

Fortunately, there are a variety of non-invasive and non-surgical treatment options available for patients with heel pain. Some of the methods used by podiatrists and care professionals include compression, foot braces, custom insoles, and laser therapy treatment. If a problem is more severe, surgery may be recommended. Working with a skilled medical professional to create your treatment plan (after an official diagnosis) is ideal since your condition is unique and new treatment options are available every year.

While heel pain cannot be treated at home, there are ways to relieve pain and provide temporary comfort. The two most popular methods of at-home care include RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) and custom foot orthotics. Both of these care methods will alleviate heel pain and pressure, promoting natural relief.

If physical therapy is already part of a patient’s routine, we suggest that they work with their PTs to gently stretch and exercise the heel and foot. When someone is diagnosed with a chronic heel condition, physical therapy is typically added to the treatment plan to address aches and pains and to strengthen the muscles and ligaments surrounding the area.

Heel pain treatment center in Scottsdale

We know that heel aches and pains can have a negative impact on your daily life. As a patient, you can feel more empowered if you are educated on your condition, and it can be helpful to learn about the causes and symptoms of heel pain. Likewise, it’s also useful to know what steps to take to prevent this pain and what treatment options are available. If you are experiencing pain in your heel area, we recommend that you contact our heel pain treatment center for immediate care. Our team of podiatrists and medical professionals are dedicated to your comfort!

Our Scottsdale heel pain treatment center is located just north of the Shea and the 101. Schedule your appointment online or call us at (480) 661-7572 for same-day appointments.

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