Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle
Podiatry, Foot & Ankle Surgeon and Wound Care Specialist located in Yarmouth, ME
Heel pain is an extremely common problem in both athletes and inactive people and it’s one of the main types of lower-extremity pain today. At Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle, caring podiatrist Barry White, DPM, offers innovative heel pain treatments in a well-appointed Yarmouth, Maine, office. Schedule your appointment online or call the office today.
Heel Pain Q&A
What causes heel pain?
Heel pain can occur for a number of reasons, including:
Plantar fasciitis is by far the most common cause of heel pain, and in fact, it's often synonymous with heel pain. This condition occurs when the weblike ligament that connects your heel bone to your forefoot becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis is generally an overuse injury, and it often occurs in athletes or in people who put continuous stress on their feet in other ways.
Heel spurs are small calcium growths that develop on the underside of the heel. They very often happen alongside plantar fasciitis. Only about half of heel spurs actually cause pain.
Achilles tendinitis affects the tendon at the back of your leg. Repetitive strain can cause tiny tears and inflammation in your Achilles tendon. This leads to serious pain at the back of your heel, and may also cause ankle pain, especially if the tendon tears (Achilles tendon rupture).
There are many other possible reasons for heel pain, including arthritis, excessive pronation (inward-turning feet when walking), bursitis, Haglund’s deformity (pump bump), and Sever’s disease in children.
When does heel pain require treatment?
If you have to change your regular activities, find yourself frequently limping, or have pain that’s just not manageable with occasional over-the-counter medication, book an appointment at Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle as soon as possible. You don’t have to live with intrusive heel pain.
How is heel pain diagnosed?
Dr. White conducts a comprehensive foot and ankle exam to locate the bones, tendons, ligaments, or other tissues causing the issue. You may need X-rays or other types of tests to verify the extent of the changes inside your foot.
During your exam, you’ll stand, walk, and move your feet according to Dr. White’s directions. This can help him to determine the true source of your heel pain and better plan your treatment.
How is heel pain treated?
Heel pain treatment depends on the specific cause of your heel pain, but some of the main options include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Special foot exercises
- Foot taping or strapping
- Functional orthotics
- Night splint
- Cortisone injections
Although it's rare, some cases of severe heel pain require surgery. Dr. White is an extremely experienced board-certified surgeon who can perform procedures like plantar fascia release using cutting-edge techniques and surgical tools.
If you have heel pain, you don't have to wait to get pain relief. Call Coastal Maine Foot and Ankle or book your appointment online.