What’s Causing My Heel Pain?
Two people can walk into our office complaining of very similar heel pain symptoms. Yet as we carefully examine their feet and listen to their symptom descriptions, we often discover that they have completely different diagnoses and consequently, completely different treatment plans. It’s important to remember that the causes of heel pain often vary from person to person.
Of course, when you’re on the job, out shopping, going for a run, or playing a sport, you probably don’t much care why your heel hurts—you just want the pain to go away so you can get on with your life! We get it. At the same time, though, without knowing precisely what’s causing heel pain, you might not be able to get the correct treatment you need. A thorough examination and consultation with a professional such as Dr. Marizeli Olacio of Omega Medical Group (OMG) will help you keep your feet in step for better health!
With heel pain, there’s really two important factors to consider: What is the diagnosis, and what caused it in the first place? For example, heel pain diagnoses could include things like:
- Plantar fasciitis—stretches and tears in the plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of the foot
- Achilles tendinitis—degeneration or inflammation in the heel cord on the back of your leg
- Stress fractures—tiny cracks in bone that develop in response to repetitive shocks and impacts
- Nerve compression—nerves getting physically pinched or obstructed, often near the ankle joint
But the diagnosis is only half the story. Most heel pain conditions arise from physical overuse, and can be triggered or influenced by factors such as:
- Spending a lot of time on your feet as a result of your job or hobbies
- Participating in a lot of high-impact sports, like running or basketball, or rapidly increasing your activity levels without properly training first
- Wearing inappropriate shoes that don’t provide the cushioning or support you need
- Inheriting or developing structural inefficiencies in your feet, such as flat arches, that divert extra force or pressure to the heels
- Being overweight
Obviously, both the diagnosis itself and the underlying cause (along with severity of symptoms) make a big difference when it comes to crafting a treatment plan that’s going to work best for you. For people with structural problems, custom orthotics (or, if necessary, reconstructive surgery) could be the way to go. For others, treatment may be no more complicated than picking out a better pair of shoes or making small changes to their workout routine. More stubborn pain that won’t respond to traditional remedies might benefit from a regenerative medicine procedure, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell therapy.
At OMG, you can expect a thorough examination and review of your condition, as much time as you need with the doctor to discuss your goals and concerns and understand your options, and a treatment plan personalized to fit your precise needs. Our mission is to get you the exact care you need so you can keep moving and return to your desired lifestyle as quickly as possible. To set your appointment with us, please call (305) 514-0404 today.