If you’re experiencing heel pain, you’re not alone. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM many patients come to us for this very reason. Pain in your heel can severely limit your activities—even walking and standing can be too painful to do for very long. Heel pain can also have several different causes:
· Plantar fasciitis—due to an injury or inflammation of the long band of tissue that stretches along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toe known as the plantar fascia.
· Flatfeet—this puts strain on the heel and can result in soreness and fatigue
· Haglund’s deformity—a bony enlargement at the back of your heel that can become red, swollen and irritated from pumps or other stiff-backed footwear.
· Heel callus—generally forms in response to excessive pressure on the heel.
· Heel spurs—calcium deposits that build up in the heel and hurt with pressure such as from certain shoes or even just standing.
In order to get to the source of your heel pain (which will determine the proper treatment), our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, will examine your foot and may order imaging or other tests. The foot doctor will also ask you several questions about your heel pain:
Where is the discomfort? The location of the pain may point to a specific condition. Pain that’s not in one particular spot may be the result of the normal wearing down of the fat pad on your heel which happens as you age.
When do you notice it most? With plantar fasciitis for example, patients often report excruciating, stabbing pain when they first get up in the morning. This is because the plantar fascia tightens up overnight. It’s important to note if the pain gets worse with activity and if it’s constant or intermittent.
What have you been doing? Many times an injury in the heel may be due to overuse. For instance, if you play a sport such as basketball or you are an avid runner, the repetitive pounding on the heel may be the cause of the injury.
What’s your history? Certain conditions are associated with or play a role in causing heel pain. Heel spurs often develop in patients with a history of plantar fasciitis.
Being as specific and exact as possible when describing your symptoms and answering the foot doctor’s questions about your complaint will lead to an accurate diagnosis much more quickly. Don’t put off seeking treatment for heel pain. Contact our Somers Point office at: (609) 927-4894.