Are you convinced that your lingering heel pain will finally go away if you just give it a few more weeks? Although heel pain can often get better on its own, ignoring pain that lasts more than a week or two may lead to chronic pain or other issues. Dr. Matthew John, your Marietta, GA, podiatrist at Ankle and Foot Centers, discusses several common causes of heel pain and explains how you can benefit from a visit to the foot doctor.
It takes a lot to fracture your heel. Usually, fractures happen if you've been in a car accident or have jumped from a distance of several feet or higher. Heel fractures often cause immediate symptoms, including pain, swelling and foot deformity. You may need to wear a cast or boot on your foot if you fracture your heel and use crutches while the heel heals. In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair the fracture.
Stress fractures are less dramatic than other types of fractures but can be just as painful. They're a common type of overuse injury, which occurs when you overwork your muscles. The problem typically occurs if you decide to train harder or longer than usual. When the muscles are overworked, they transfer their burden to your heel, causing a thin crack in the bone. Stress fractures are often treated with rest, walking boots and crutches.
An inflamed plantar fascia is the cause of one common type of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a tough band of fibrous tissue that reaches from your toes to your heels. Overuse injuries can cause plantar fasciitis, or it can develop if you're overweight, wear shoes that don't adequately support your foot or work at a job in Marietta that requires you to stand for hours. Treatment of plantar fasciitis involves foot exercises, night splints, shoe inserts and surgery, in severe cases.
Many of the same things that cause plantar fasciitis can also cause Achilles tendinitis, a painful heel condition that affects the tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel. Treatment for Achilles tendinitis involves walking casts, physical therapy, shock wave therapy, cortisone injections and ultrasound treatments. If you continue your regular activities, despite the pain, you may tear the tendon.
Suffering from heel pain? Call Dr. John, your Marietta, GA, podiatrists at Ankle and Foot Centers at (770) 977-3668 to schedule an appointment.