Heel Pain Doctors

Experiencing pain in the underside or back of your heel does not always indicate a serious condition, but it can affect your activity levels. Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates has a range of diagnostic services to identify the cause of your pain and determine treatment solutions.

Top 5 Causes of Heel Pain

As we said, heel pain does not always signal a severe condition. Read about the most common reasons for heel pain below.

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is often a common reason behind heel pain. This condition results from inflammation in the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. 

If you have plantar fasciitis, you may feel throbbing, stabbing or other severe pain under the bottom of your heel. You may also feel a dull, constant ache in your heel, even during resting periods.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by wearing unsupportive shoes, exercising without stretching, standing for long periods and playing rigorous sports.

2. Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles tendon is the largest in the body, stretching from the calf muscles to the heel bone. You use your Achilles tendon to perform simple, daily activities like walking, standing on your tip toes or running. 

Because it gets so much use, it can become severely irritated. Achilles tendinitis is characterized by an overuse injury, resulting in tissue inflammation. This condition is incredibly common in athletes.

If left untreated, your Achilles tendon can rupture, causing significant injury.

3. Heel Spur

A heel spur is a growth of calcium deposits that build up over several months and protrudes from the heel. Heel spurs tend to be linked to plantar fasciitis, as the inflammation in this tissue can cause calcium deposits to form.

Heel spurs will only show initial signs once the pain starts. These bone growths can create chronic or intermittent heel pain, which isn’t exclusive to this condition. You’ll know when you have a heel spur when you experience swelling, warmth and tenderness radiating around your heel.

4. Heel Bursitis

A bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac in your body that protects your bones from sliding against tendons, skin or muscles. There is a bursa behind your ankles and heel bone. Overuse without proper conditioning or a sudden increase in jumping, running or walking can create irritation — known as heel bursitis.

5. Heel Fracture

In more severe cases, your heel bone can fracture. This injury is often caused by high-energy events such as car crashes or a significant fall. You will know if your heel is fractured when you suddenly cannot bear any weight on the affected foot.

When to See a Doctor for Heel Pain

Some cases of heel pain can be treated at home with the RICE method — rest, ice, compression and elevation. If you begin noticing any of the following symptoms, notify a doctor:

  • Severe pain, swelling and bruising near your heel
  • Heel pain with a fever, tingling or numbness
  • Inability to bend your foot downward, walk normally or stand on your toes
  • Severe heel pain following an injury

Heel Pain Specialists at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

If heel pain continues to persist, please contact the specialists at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates. Our board-certified podiatrists can help you find a solution for your heel pain today. We serve patients in Centralia, Lacey, Olympia, Tacoma, and Tumwater. 

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