Do you frequently experience heel pain? Although staying off your feet can help minor injuries heal, rest alone isn't always enough to heal your heel. Dr. Eric Jaakola and Dr. Anna Weber, your Denver, CO podiatrists at Diabetic Foot & Wound Center and Colorado Sports Podiatry, share information on common causes of heel pain and explain why you shouldn't ignore it.
Stepping on hard objects
Stepping on a hard object or running in shoes that don't adequately support and protect your feet can cause painful stone bruises that may take a few weeks to heal.
Falls, automobile accidents and twisting injuries are common causes of heel fractures.
An inflammation in the fluid-filled bursa at the back of your heel can cause painful retrocalcaneal bursitis. The condition offer occurs due to excessive walking, running or jumping. You're at increased risk for developing retrocalcaneal bursitis if you if you suddenly increase the intensity or length of your workouts.
Inflammation of the Achilles tendonitis is another common cause of heel pain. The condition tends to affect people who run or participate in other repetitive activities. If you have Achilles tendinitis, you'll notice swelling or pain in the back of your heel.
Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation in the plantar fascia, a tough band of connective tissue that connects your heels to your toes, can also cause heel pain.
Calcium deposits, commonly called heel spurs, cause more pain than you might realize. People who have had plantar fasciitis are more likely to develop spurs, but participation in activities that involve walking, running or jumping can also increase your risk.
Won't heel pain just go away eventually?
In many cases, heel pain does improve if you use over-the-counter pain relievers and stay off your feet as much as possible. Unfortunately, ignoring the pain can cause lingering problems. For example, if you don't treat Achilles tendonitis, the tendon may eventually begin to tear. Heel fractures, although painful, don't cause severe pain in every case. If you don't receive medical treatment for the fracture, the bones may not heal properly. If this happens, your risk for arthritis will increase and you may need surgery to correct the problem. It's particularly important to report heel pain to your podiatrist as soon as possible if you have diabetes. Since the disease slows healing and can increase the risk of infection, prompt treatment is crucial.
Are you concerned about heel pain? Call Dr. Jaakola and Dr. Weber, your Denver, CO podiatrists at Diabetic Foot & Wound Center and Colorado Sports Podiatry, at (303) 321-4477 to make an appointment.