If you recently developed heel pain that does not seem to be going away on its own, then you should visit a foot doctor who can determine the cause of this heel pain and form a treatment plan to ease it now and potentially eliminate it completely in the future. While there are many causes of heel pain, read on to learn about two common foot problems that can cause this pain and the treatments a foot doctor may offer to help eliminate it.
1. Heel Spur
Heel spurs are relatively common foot problems, and while some cause no pain, others can. A heel spur is a hard calcium deposit on the bottom of the heel bone, near the sole of the foot. These bone-like growths can develop for a variety of reasons, and some heel spur risk factors include wearing ill-fitting shoes, running on hard surfaces frequently, and old age.
A foot doctor can offer many non-surgical treatments for heel spurs. Common treatments include wearing shoe orthotics that reduce the pressure placed on heels as you walk, physical therapy, and/or the replacement of ill-fitting shoes with those that fit properly. However, if the heel spur does not naturally diminish after a year of treatment, a heel spur removal surgery can be performed completely eliminate it.
2. Bursitis of the Heel
Another common heel pain cause is a condition called bursitis of the heel. This condition occurs when the fluid-filled sac behind the heel bone called the bursa swells and becomes irritated and/or inflamed. While bursitis of the heel can occur on its own, it often occurs alongside another condition called Achilles tendonitis. Bursitis pain typically occurs on the back of the heel instead of on the foot sole, as heel spur pain does.
While bursitis has many causes, it typically develops shortly after a person begins an intense workout routine, especially one that includes running and jumping, for the first time or after a long period of time sedentary.
If your foot doctor diagnoses you with bursitis of the heel, they will focus their treatment plan on not only relieving the bursitis inflammation and pain now but also preventing its return in the future. You will likely be told to stop all activities that trigger bursitis pain now, including intense workouts, and wear a special wedge in your shoe that reduces the pressure your shoe places on the back of the heel.
Your foot doctor may also order ultrasound therapy and/or steroid injections to reduce bursa inflammation until the condition heals on its own over a period of several weeks.
If you are experiencing heel pain, then do not hesitate to visit a foot doctor. They can figure out what is causing the pain and provide treatments to alleviate the pain and the foot condition that may be causing it.