Where does your heel hurt?
Again, this is a symptom – one that can be caused by a variety of issues. Some of the more common conditions responsible for heel pain are:
- Plantar fasciitis – if your pain is sharp, felt on the bottom of the heel, and most intense with the first steps of the day, this is the most likely culprit.
- Plantar fibromatosis – you may have one or several small masses growing along the fascia, usually in your arch between the heel pad and forefront of your foot. It can also appear right behind your big toe joint.
- Insertional Achilles tendinitis – if your pain is in the back of the heel during or following physical activity (involving running and/or jumping), then you probably have inflammation, injury, or degeneration of an Achilles tendon.
- Sever’s disease – if your child is between the ages of 6-14 and experiences pain around the heel, he or she may be suffering from what we call “juvenile plantar fasciitis.”
Less common sources of heel pain include Haglund’s deformity (“pump bump”), bursitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and stress fractures.
How can we help you find relief from heel pain?
Fortunately, conservative (nonsurgical) therapies are highly effective. This is something we especially appreciate because Dr. Leibovitz is committed to avoiding surgery (whenever possible).
Our patients appreciate it too!
To address the pain, your treatment plan may include:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Physical therapies
- Biomechanical control (correcting and/or restricting abnormal foot movement)
- Cortisone injections (in extreme cases)
During your recovery, we want you to remain as active as possible (i.e. physical therapy). This will typically include changing the way the foot functions, shoe selection, and a stretching program designed to keep essential connective tissues limber.
Because heel pain is often related to underlying structural or biomechanical issues – flat feet, gait irregularities, tight calves (etc.) – prescription orthotics are a treatment option that help many patients find the relief they’re seeking.
While our goal is always to avoid surgery, there are rare times when the initial treatment plan does not provide adequate relief and this option may be considered.
If that applies to you, Dr. Leibovitz will help you understand your options. He is highly skilled in foot surgeries and you can rest assured knowing your feet are in good hands. You will also be given detailed instructions so your recovery is as fast and effective as possible.