Heel pain is a common foot and ankle condition. Pain may occur along the back of the heel, the plantar aspect (beneath the heel), or within the heel bone itself. Left untreated, heel pain can may last for years and cause additional conditions to develop such as changes in your gait, pain in the other heel or other parts of the foot or body. The most common type of heel pain is Plantar Fasciitis. However, there are various other types including:
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Bone Spurs (Calcaneal Spurs)
- Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Disease) *adolescents 8-14 years old
- Inflamed Tendons
- Stress Fractures
- Sub-talar Dislocation
- Tarsal Tunnel
The Most Common Type of Heel Pain is Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis, pronounced (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is a term used by physicians to refer to heel and arch pain traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. Moreover, it involves inflammation of the plantar fascia — a thick, fibrous band of aponeurosis running along the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia attaches to the calcaneus and runs to the base of the toes. The plantar fascia supports the foot arch and is essential in foot mechanics during walking.
Self-Assessment Quiz for Plantar Fasciitis:
Is the pain located from the bottom of your heel to the mid-arch of your foot?
Is the pain most prominent when you first take a step in the morning?
Do you experience a sharp or stabbing pain when you use your effected foot or put pressure on your heel?
Does taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories give you some relief from the pain?
Do you experience temporary relief from the pain when you are exercising or moving the foot, but experience worsened symptoms once you stop?
Have you been previously diagnosed or have received prior treatments for Plantar Fasciitis?
If you answered yes to these questions, click here to learn more about Plantar Fasciitis
Most Common Causes of Heel Pain
Anything that puts a lot of pressure on your foot can cause heel pain. Foot mechanics and structure can also be factors. Depending on the type of heel pain you are afflicted with the causes may vary. Most common causes of heel pain include:
- Injury or trauma to the heel (can be from direct impact or repetitive trauma)
- Increased physical activity (running, jumping, sports, etc)
- Improper nutrition and diet, leading to obesity
- Improper shoegear
- Standing or walking for long periods of time (especially on hard surfaces)
Symptoms of Heel Pain
Heel pain symptoms vary depending on the type/cause. Symptoms may occur at various times of the day or following everyday activities such as sitting, walking, running, exercise, etc. In addition to pain, you may experience:
- Abnormal gait
- Bone growth on the heel (bone spur)
- Bruising or redness
- Burning or tingling
New Patient Visits for Heel Pain
During your initial visit to New Orleans Podiatry Associates, Dr. Lang will conduct a focused review of your symptoms and medical history; and he will perform a diagnostic evaluation to arrive at a clinical diagnosis. Once Dr. Lang determines the origins of your heel pain, he will determine whether you are suffering from an acute or chronic condition. He will then present a diagnosis and a treatment plan. From here, you will move into the collaborative stage of your new patient visit and collectively decide on a treatment protocol that works according to your lifestyle, health insurance plan, and budget.
During the diagnostic evaluation of your new patient visit, an x-ray and a sonogram of the foot and ankle are performed in-office to locate the origin of your heel pain. These diagnostic tools are the gold standard in finding the sources of your heel pain.
Treatments for Heel Pain
When determining the origins of heel pain, evaluating shoe gear is a vital component of the diagnostic process. Moreover, old, worn-out shoes, high-heel use, or ill-fitting shoes are often culprits of heel pain.
Radial shockwave is a cutting-edge, evidenced-based technology used to stimulate the body's immune response by creating micro-traumas in the area of injury.
Amniotic Matrix Allograft
Ethically harvested amniotic matrix allograft injected using sonogram technology to visually ensure it is deposited according to evidence based uses.
Custom-crafted orthotics are prescribed to support the foot, allowing it to heal. Our custom-crafted orthotics merge thirty years of heel pain expertise with state-of-the-art 3D technology.
Sonogram-Guided Steroid Therapy
Our state-of-the-art sonogram technology allows Dr. Lang to precisely place steroid medications at and around the injured portion of the heel.
Class IV red light laser therapy utilizes red and near-infrared light to produce a chain of reactions that stimulate healing and the regeneration of damaged tissues. It is used in conjunction with conservative care or in tandem with radial shockwave to achieve optimal results for both acute and chronic heel pain.
Dr. Lang and his NOPA team will teach specialized stretching to help heal the effected or injured area. Stretching is not indicated for every case of heel pain; therefore, patients will be notified when and how stretching will benefit their condition.
Diet and Lifestyle
A calorie-appropriate, ancestral diet is recommended to reduce inflammation in the body. This way of eating includes removing sugar, flour, seed oils, and processed foods from the diet while increasing organic proteins to heal damaged tissues.
It may seem strange, but twenty-two evidence-based studies prove walking barefoot on the earth reduces inflammation in the body. Grounding does not cost any money, so why not give it a try? All you need is to place your bare-feet in the grass, sand, or soil; the earth's magnetic field will do the rest..
Text Us About Heel Pain
At New Orleans Podiatry Associates, we are experts in treating heel pain. Our lead podiatrist, Dr. Edward M. Lang, has been helping patients resolve heel pain for over 30 years. Please text our HIPAA-compliant communication platform at (866) 875-4570 and chat directly with our team to learn more about relief from heel pain. You do not have to live with heel pain. We are heel pain specialists, and we have helped thousands of patients reclaim their foot health.
Call for an Appointment
At New Orleans Podiatry Associates, we are experts in treating foot and ankle pain. Our lead podiatrist, Dr. Edward M. Lang, has been helping patients resolve foot and ankle pain for over 30 years. Please call our main number at (504)-897-3627 for both our New Orleans and Metaire locations, and speak directly with our team to learn more about how New Orleans Podiatry Associates can help you get back on your feet. We are foot and ankle specialists, and we have helped thousands of patients reclaim their foot health.