Heel and Arch Pain
Does pain in your heels or arches cause you difficulty in the morning, after a long day at work, or while you’re trying to stay active? No matter how long you have had this type of pain, there are conservative treatments that can help.
What is Causing Your Pain?
Although pain in your heels or arches can feel like a pretty standard symptom, it can result from a number of different causes.
Many times, attempts at home treatment don’t work well because they are not tackling the specific cause of the problem. By getting to the heart of the matter, we can recommend specific treatments to target your exact needs.
Below are a few common causes of heel pain.
One of the most common causes of heel pain, plantar fasciitis involves a thick band of tissue that runs along the underside of your foot (the plantar fascia).
The plantar fascia can become inflamed when it takes on an excessive amount of force, either all at once or through repetitive impacts and overuse. This makes plantar fasciitis common among runners as well as people who spend all day working on their feet.
Heel pain from plantar fasciitis tends to be worst first thing in the morning or after long periods of inactivity, but lessens as you move and the plantar fascia gets a chance to “warm up.”
The Achilles tendon, which connects the heel bone to the calf muscles, is the largest tendon in the body. It’s able to take quite a lot of force, but can still grow inflamed if it has to deal with too much at once or too much over time.
Achilles tendinitis pain tends to be felt more toward the very back of the heel, and while engaging in activities requiring a lot of movement. Climbing stairs can be painful as well.
A sharp or throbbing pain against the heel might be sign of a heel spur, a bony growth.
While not all heel spurs cause trouble, some can dig into the soft tissues and tendons along the heel, causing discomfort and inflammation.
Small heel spurs can be treatable with icing and rest to reduce inflammation. Larger spurs might require the use of custom orthotics or supportive shoes to take pressure off the area. In rarer cases, surgery might be required.
When the arches of the feet do not develop through childhood, or begin to drop during adulthood, flat feet (aka fallen arches) can be the result.
Flat feet do not always cause pain. In some cases, however, they can affect the way that weight is distributed across the feet or how the feet move when we walk (our gait). These factors can lead to consistent pain.
Treating Heel Pain Effectively
The above causes are not the only possibilities when it comes to heel and arch pain. There is also arthritis, bursitis, and a host of others. That’s why it’s so important to get to the root of the problem!
Regardless of the cause, all forms of heel and arch pain require treatment of some time. The good news is that most forms of treatment are simple and conservative. Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates has the skill, experience, and tools to help your feet feel better.
In cases where an abnormal foot structure or improper distribution of weight are causing pain, custom orthotics can be a big help! Prescribed specifically to your foot shape and needs, custom orthotic inserts provide cushioning, support, and correction exactly where needed.
Laser for Pain Therapy
When soft tissue injuries are a source of the problem, our laser therapy can stimulate your body’s natural repair process and increase the flow of nutrient-rich blood to the area. It’s a bit like giving the workers at a construction site a pep talk as well as a free lunch to get rebuilding finished faster!
Never discount tried-and-true methods in some cases. Icing, rest, medications, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy can all make significant differences for some forms of heel pain.
Surgery is only ever required for heel or arch pain in rare cases, when conservative measures have not been showing any results. If surgery becomes a consideration, our team will discuss all the pros and cons with you to ensure you make the best decision for your needs.
Don’t Let Your Pain Last Any Longer
Ready to put an end to your heel or arch pain? Call (309) 661-9975 to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Lockwood or Dr. Rizvi. You can also contact us electronically by filling out our online contact form.