What’s Behind Heel Pain?

At Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, heel pain is one of the most frequent problems patients bring to our Macomb (586) 416-3668, St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 or Warren (586) 756-3338 offices. The treatment for your heel pain will depend on the underlying cause. There are several possibilities:

  • Fat pad atrophy—as you age, the fat pad on the bottom of your heel deteriorates, leaving you with less cushioning for your heel bone and greater exposure to the effects of repetitive pounding as you walk.
  • Poor shoe choice—shoes that do not have a well-formed heel cup or those that are worn down at the heel can make your heel hurt.
  • Heel fracture—most of the time if you fracture your heel it is the result of an accident, such as falling off a ladder. It is possible to have a stress fracture in your heel—a hairline crack caused by repetitive stress on the heel bone.

Most often, however, heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome. This condition is caused by inflammation to the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot that stretches from your toes, across the arch of your foot and to the heel bone. When this tissue becomes aggravated, it can result in heel pain. The plantar fascia can become inflamed due to:

  • Overpronation
  • Flat feet
  • Overly high arches
  • Obesity
  • Wearing shoes that lack adequate arch support
  • Having a job that requires you to be on your feet for long hours every day

The Road to Relief

Our podiatrists Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw and Dr. Adam Thompson will examine your foot and get a complete medical history. The foot doctor will also want information about your daily activities. X-rays or other imaging studies may be ordered. These can reveal heel spurs—or bone growths—that are frequently present in patients with plantar fasciitis. There are several treatment options available for plantar fasciitis including medications, stretching exercises and physical therapy, custom orthotics, night splints and injection therapy. We also offer Minimal Incision Surgery for plantar fasciitis.

To find out the best treatment for your heel pain, contact us as soon as possible.

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