Has your heel suddenly started hurting and you don't know why? Our Manhattan and Amsterdam, NY, podiatrists - Dr. Sorelis Jimenez, Dr. John Fletcher and Dr. Kamilla Danilova - discuss common causes of heel pain and explain treatment options that will help you get back on your feet.
Your exercise routine
Exercising regularly is an excellent way to stay in shape and improve your health, but it's not without risks. If you haven't exercised for a while and push yourself too hard, you can injure your heels and feet. Pain can also occur if you decide to increase the length or intensity of your usual exercise routine. Overuse injuries can cause plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of connective tissue that runs underneath your feet or other inflammatory conditions, including retrocalcaneal bursitis and Achilles tendinitis.
Teachers, nurses, factory workers, retail clerks and other people who rarely get the chance to sit down during the workday are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. The condition causes heel pain that's worse in the morning and increases if you've been on your feet for a long time.
Although your feet may look exactly the same as they did when you were younger, aging also affects them. You're more likely to develop plantar fasciitis, retrocalcaneal bursitis, Achilles tendinitis or arthritis the older you get.
The shoes you wear
Your running shoes may look perfectly fine after months of use, but appearances can be deceiving. Over time, the material in the sole can compress. When that happens, the shoes no longer cushion and support your foot effectively, putting you at risk for developing common heel conditions.
Gait issues can increase your risk of heel pain. For example, if your feet roll inward when you walk, you may be more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. Gait issues may also be responsible for painful plantar calluses on the bottom of your heel.
What can I do about heel pain?
Often rest, ice, over-the-counter pain medications and a new pair of shoes can help relieve heel pain. If your symptoms don't improve, it's a good idea to pay a visit to our Manhattan or Amsterdam office. Treatments vary depending on the cause of your pain. Gait issues can often be improved with orthotics, prescription shoe inserts that hold your feet in the optimum position. If your plantar fasciitis, retrocalcaneal bursitis or Achilles tendinitis pain is severe, corticosteroid injections can be helpful. Other treatment options may include boots or walking casts, night splints, physical therapy, ultrasound therapy or even surgery, in some cases.
Don't let heel pain take over your life. Call our Manhattan and Amsterdam, NY, podiatrists - Dr. Jimenez, Dr. Fletcher and Dr. Danilova - at (212) 845-9991 to make an appointment.