How often do you think about your heel? Probably not very much, unless it’s painful. But your heel is vitally important and is really the cornerstone of your body.
When you stand, almost all of your body weight rests on this sturdy mechanism of muscle, bone and tendon. Your heel also manages the stress of walking and running and shapes the arch of the foot.
The heel bone is the largest in the foot and gives your heel its shape. Two muscles extend forward from the sides of this bone to move your biggest and smallest toes.
Your Achilles tendon, the largest and strongest in the body, begins at the heel bone and connects to the calf muscles. When the calf muscle flexes, the Achilles tendon pulls on the heel allowing us to walk, run, jump and stand on tiptoe.
There Are Many Causes of Heel Pain
Along with shaping the arch, your heel has another important job: To help your foot distribute the forces on your foot evenly. These everyday stresses are one cause of heel pain under your foot.
Plantar fasciitis, or an inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, is caused by overuse or stress on the heel. The pain from plantar fasciitis is usually worst first thing in the morning, and then it eases during the day.
Other conditions and injuries that cause heel pain are:
- Achilles tendonitis, or inflammation of the Achilles tendon from overuse, injury or stress
- Heel spur which is often associated with plantar fasciitis
- Bursitis, an inflammation of the bursa sacs
- Osteomyelitis or bone infection
- Haglund’s deformity, a growth on the back of the heel
- Stress fractures
How We Treat Heel Pain
Successful treatment of heel pain depends on an accurate diagnosis as to its cause. At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, we have modern diagnostic equipment including in-house x-rays to get to the root of the problem. If needed, a blood test can help determine the cause of heel pain.
Each patient’s heel pain is unique and we will treat whatever conditions we find. Treatment options include rest, custom-fitted orthotics, injections to relieve inflammation, physical therapy and stretching and strengthening exercises. In severe cases we may discuss surgical options with you.
Don’t Live with Heel Pain – Contact Us for Relief
Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose heel pain from plantar fasciitis or from any other cause including injuries. Please come in to Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle for an examination – you can request an appointment via the website or call us at our Hudson office at 727 868-2128 or our Spring Hill office at 352 683-5799. The first step to healing heel pain is yours – give us a call today!