Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center
Podiatry & Foot and Ankle Surgery located in Prescott, AZ
Each year, more than two million Americans seek medical treatment for heel pain. This common problem can make it difficult to stand up, run errands, or stay physically active. At Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center, Todd Cox, DPM, have extensive experience diagnosing and treating heel pain caused by various conditions, including plantar fasciitis. To schedule an appointment at the Prescott, Arizona, practice, call to speak with a member of the support staff or book online today.
Heel Pain Q & A
What is heel pain?
Heel pain is a common musculoskeletal problem characterized by swelling, tenderness, or aching at the back of the foot directly below the ankle.
Heel pain affects everyone differently. For some people, it’s a minor annoyance that flares up during exercise. For others, it’s debilitating, resulting in chronic discomfort and disability.
What are some common causes of heel pain?
Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center regularly works with people experiencing heel pain due to:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Sprains and strains
- Achilles tendinitis
- Osteochondrosis (bone abnormalities)
You might also experience heel pain due to arthritis or following a sports-related injury.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that causes damage to your plantar fascia –– a band of fibrous tissue that runs from your toes to your heel.
As you age, the plantar fascia develops microscopic tears. When these tears become inflamed, uncomfortable symptoms arise, including stiffness, swelling, and tenderness.
How is heel pain diagnosed?
To diagnose heel pain, your provider at Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms, including when the pain started, if any specific activities trigger it, and its severity.
Afterward, they physically examine your feet and heels, gently pressing on them to pinpoint areas of swelling, warmth, or tenderness. Your provider might also have you perform a series of in-office exercises like walking back and forth to assess your gait and posture.
If your provider believes an underlying problem like a fracture or sprain is the source of your pain, they order diagnostic imaging like X-rays, a computed tomography (CT) scan, or an MRI.
These tools allow Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center to observe the bones, joints, and soft tissues in your feet.
How is heel pain treated?
Treatment for heel pain depends on the intensity of your symptoms and the source of your discomfort. Typically, Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center recommends conservative methods of care, including:
- Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication
- Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes that fit properly
- Wearing a night splint to stretch your feet
- Wearing custom orthotics or heel inserts to ease pain
You might also benefit from losing weight, eating a more balanced diet, or modifying your exercise regimen.
If your heel pain persists or continues to interfere with your job or daily routine, the team might recommend foot surgery. The goal of surgery is to relieve pain and restore your mobility.
To receive treatment for heel pain, request a consultation at Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center. Call the office to speak with a member of the support staff or book online today.
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