If you've recently developed heel pain, you're probably wondering what's causing it—and what you can do about it. You're not alone; heel pain is one of the most frequent problems we treat at Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City in North Seattle. It's also one of the top reasons our active patients give for why they've stopped doing the things they love.
Fortunately, you don't have to let stubborn heel pain disrupt your lifestyle. Our expert podiatrist, Dr. Rion Berg, has 40 years of experience successfully helping patients of all ages resolve their heel pain using a holistic approach and a wide range of treatment options. Here's what you need to know.
Plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot, is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The tissue, called the plantar fascia, starts at your heel, travels across your arches, and inserts into the base of your toes. If you have pain in your feet when they first hit the floor in the morning, plantar fasciitis is a likely cause. This condition is also characterized by pain that decreases as the foot warms up, but returns after standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Causes and Treatments
Factors that increase your risk for developing plantar fasciitis include:
- Age, as this condition is most common in patients ages 40-60
- Activities, like running, that subject the feet to high levels of impact
- Poor foot mechanics, like flat feet and other factors that affect how weight is distributed
- Equinus, a condition that limits the upward bending motion of the ankle joint, often due to tightness of the Achilles tendon or calf muscles
- Excess weight and obesity, which puts extra stress on the plantar fascia, causing it to flatten painfully
- Unsupportive shoes that easily bend in half or twist when you try to wring them out
- Women are more at risk for this condition than men
At Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we'll work to help reduce your pain and inflammation; resolve calf tightness; address mechanical problems with over-the-counter inserts or custom orthotics; and teach you how to choose the right shoe for your feet. We can also refer you for physical therapy, if necessary.
Other Conditions That Cause Heel Pain
- Achilles tendonitis
- Achilles tendonosis
- Sever's disease
- Heel spurs
- Haglund's deformity
- Stress fractures
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
- Insertional pain of the Achilles tendon
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Tarsal coalition
Heel Pain Treatments in North Seattle
Treatment for heel pain varies depending on the particular condition. Here are some of the most common treatment options we use to resolve painful heel problems:
- Modalities to reduce pain and inflammation (such as ice, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, MLS laser therapy, low dye taping, and use of an air heel)
- Stretching to relieve tight calf muscles
- Over-the-counter inserts or custom orthotics (which can be made in-house)
- MLS Laser Therapy, which reduces pain and inflammation, and can help speed the healing process
- Finding the proper footwear to correctly support your feet
- Immobilization (use of a walking boot or similar)
- Referrals to physical therapy for additional stretching, massage, and strengthening
If conservative treatments prove insufficient, we can also discuss a variety of surgical options.
Need Relief From Stubborn Heel Pain? Request an Appointment Now
Don't let plantar fasciitis or other painful heel conditions cause you to miss out on the activities you enjoy. Complete the contact form on this page or call our office at 206-368-7000 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Berg. Most new patients are seen within one week's time. During your initial visit, Dr. Berg will spend up to 30 minutes getting to know you, your podiatry complaints, and your goals so that he can recommend the treatment best meets your needs. Dont' wait—contact us today.