Heel and Foot Pain: Causes and Treatment

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Heel and foot pain are common health problems for many people. If you suffer from this condition, chances are you experience regular pain behind or under your heel or on other parts of your foot. Pain occurring beneath your heel, often diagnosed as plantar fasciitis, is among the most common culprits behind heel pain. If your pain radiates from behind your heel, you may have Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendinitis causes pain to radiate out to the inner or outer side of your heel and foot. These are just a few conditions resulting in heel and foot pain. In most cases, these conditions come and go without the need for medical treatment. If the pain becomes chronic or unbearable, you should seek medical attention for proper treatment.

Causes of Heel and Foot Pain

There are many causes associated with heel and foot pain, including arthritis, infection, trauma, autoimmune problems, and even neurological conditions. In addition to plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis, the following conditions often come with the symptom of heel and/or foot pain:

Other common causes of heel and foot pain include the following:

  • A Plantar Fascia Tear
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Calcaneal Cysts
  • Systemic Arthritis
  • Poor Circulation
  • Poor Posture
  • Bone Cysts
  • Gout
  • Neuroma
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Diabetes

Symptoms of Heel and Foot Pain

If you have heel or foot pain, you may notice the pain becomes worse when you wear flat shoes. Additionally, for many people, the pain is the worse first thing in the morning or when you stand up and begin walking after a long period of rest. You may also notice your feet swelling throughout the day.

Diagnosis of Heel and Foot Pain

Schedule a visit with your doctor if you experience persistent heel and foot pain. During your appointment, expect your doctor to examine your foot, your posture, and ask questions about your usual footwear. From there, he or she may also test your muscles to check for irregularities and skin changes. Your doctor may squeeze your heel to check for cysts, fractures, or nerve problems as well. In some cases, your doctor will order imaging scans and blood tests to help make a diagnosis.

  • History
  • Physical exam of foot
  • X-rays
  • Blood Tests

Treatment of Heel and Foot Pain

If your condition doesn’t clear up on its own, your doctor may recommend the following treatment options:

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroid Injections
  • Physical Therapy
  • Athletic Taping
  • Orthotics
  • Surgery
  • Home Remedies, Including Rest, Ice Packs, Better Footwear, and Foot Supports

Prognosis of Heel and Foot Pain

For many people, heel or foot pain comes and goes on its own without a trip to the doctor’s office. However, if your pain is persistent and resistant to the above-mentioned home remedies, it may be time to visit your doctor. The sooner you’re diagnosed and begin a treatment course, the faster your symptoms are likely to go away or lessen. Because there are so many effective treatment methods available, the prognosis for heel and foot pain is pretty good.