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Why Does My Heel Ache?

Find out what foot condition could be to blame for your heel pain.

While heel pain can be caused by many different factors or conditions, the two most common conditions responsible for heel pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Find out more about these two conditions and what your Denver, CO podiatrist at Colorado Heel Pain Sports Podiatry  can do to treat your foot pain.

 Plantar Fasciitis

What is it?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of tissue known as the plantar fascia that runs the length of the foot and connects the heel bone with the toes.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms include inflammation and pain. Those with plantar fasciitis usually experience a sharp, sudden pain that appears in the morning and begins to decrease throughout the day. The condition may become exacerbated after standing for long periods of time or when getting up after sitting for a while.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

This condition often plagues runners, but those who wear shoes with little support and those who are overweight are also at risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Repetitive motions such as stretching can irritate the plantar fascia as well.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

Conservative approaches to treatment include over-the-counter medications, wearing orthotics and performing certain stretching and strengthening exercises. For those with more chronic or severe forms of plantar fasciitis, your Denver podiatrist may recommend corticosteroid injections, Tenex Percutaneous fasciotomy or even surgery.

 Achilles tendinitis

What is it?

The condition is brought about by overuse of the Achilles tendon, the tissue that connects the calf muscles to your heel bone.

What are the symptoms?

Pain, stiffness and tenderness are common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis, particularly in the morning. You may notice that symptoms lessen as you move around. This condition usually starts as a subtle ache in the back of the leg or right above the heel, which most often appears after physical activity.

What causes Achilles tendinitis?

This condition is most common in runners and athletes, especially those who have increased the intensity or length of their workouts all at once. It’s also a prevalent condition in middle-aged athletes who play sports like basketball or tennis.

How is Achilles tendinitis treated?

Just like with plantar fasciitis, more conservative measures for Achilles tendinitis include OTC pain medications, orthotics, and physical therapy exercises. Most cases will improve with at-home measures. If these treatments don’t eliminate your symptoms, or if the tendon is torn, then we recommend investigating surgical options.

 While these tend to be the most common conditions responsible for causing heel pain, other issues such as gout, heel spurs, bursitis and fractures also cause heel pain. If you are dealing with heel pain that just doesn’t seem to go away, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your Denver, CO podiatrists at Colorado Sports Podiatry .

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