Heel pain can be caused by many different conditions such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, bone cysts, nerve compression/entrapment, and plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. When a spur is present, some may call it heel spur syndrome. The fascia becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain. In severe cases, the fascia can become torn. Many nonsurgical treatments options exist: Stretching, avoiding barefoot, shoe modification, medications, taping, orthotics, or splints. Most patients respond to non-surgical treatments, however, some patients may require surgery. Our foot and ankle surgeons will be able to determine which approach would be most beneficial for you.
Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis are usually overuse disorders caused by increased repetitive activity involving the Achilles’ tendon. Due to this ongoing stress, the body is unable to repair the injured tissue. The structure of the tendon can be altered causing continued pain. Symptoms include: pain, a chilling, stiffness, soreness within the tendon. When the disorder continues for a prolonged time, nodular thickening can occur. Treatment options vary depending upon several factors - level of pain, degree of damage to the tendon, and how long the injury has been present. Treatments can include: immobilization, RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), oral medications, orthotics, splints, physical therapy, as well as, surgical options.
Haglund's Deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. It is sometimes called “pump bump” because the backs of pump-style shoes can aggravate the enlargement. Certain foot types (some inherited) can make an individual prone to developing this condition. Symptoms include: a noticeable bump on the back of the heel, pain, swelling, and redness. After an exam, xrays are typically helpful to assess the heel bone. Treatment options include: medication, exercises, heel lifts, heel pads, shoe modification, physical therapy, orthotics, or immobilization.
Heel Fissures - there are many potential causes of cracked heels. Dry skin is common and can get worse with wearing open-back shoes, increased weight or increased friction from the back of shoes. Dry, cracked skin can also be a subtle sign of more significant problems, such as diabetes or loss of nerve function. If a heel fissure turns into an open sore, make an appointment for evaluation and treatment.