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Chronic heel pain can make it increasingly difficult to stay physically active and can ultimately interfere with your quality of life. To uncover the root cause of your heel pain, the team at InStride Family Foot Care offers comprehensive diagnostic testing at their offices in Albemarle, Concord, Matthews, Wake Forest, Gastonia, and Monroe, and two clinics in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you’re experiencing heel pain that isn’t getting better with rest and over-the-counter pain-relievers, schedule a consultation at the InStride Family Foot Care office nearest you by phone or by using the online booking feature.
Acute heel pain can be the result of direct trauma to the heel area of your foot from a fall or auto accident. Chronic heel pain is often a condition that develops gradually over time due to underlying issues in the structures of the foot.
Some of the most common conditions that cause chronic heel pain include:
Heel spurs develop when there’s constant stress on the tissues of the plantar fasciitis, the band of tissue that extends along the bottom of your foot and connects your toes with your heel. This pressure causes the ligament to separate from the heel bone.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that results when the plantar fascia rips or tears due to direct trauma or an overuse injury caused by frequent running or standing for long periods of time.
Achilles tendinitis is a condition that develops due to inflammation in the Achilles tendon, the fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. Inflammation is the result of rips or tears in the tissue from overuse or direct trauma.
To determine the root cause of your heel pain, your provider reviews your medical history and symptoms before performing a physical exam to check for swelling and tenderness. You may need to walk or perform certain movements that allow your provider to assess how pain interferes with your mobility.
While your provider may be able to diagnose the cause of heel pain based on your symptoms, the InStride team offers on-site imaging tests, like X-rays, to get a better look at the inner structures of your foot and ankle.
Initially, your provider may recommend rest and over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and inflammation. You may also benefit from ice packs to address swelling.
In some cases, at-home exercises and physical therapy can help to stretch the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle to alleviate pain and improve your mobility.
If you have severe tears in the Achilles tendon or plantar fasciitis that aren’t treatable with rest and medications, you may be a candidate for surgery to repair the tissue damage.
In addition to treating your heel pain, your provider can recommend preventive care tips to lower your risk for future heel pain. These recommendations may include using proper warm-up techniques before running or other physical activity and wearing supportive shoes to prevent damage to the tendons and muscles of the foot and ankle.
If you have heel pain that isn’t getting better with home care, schedule an evaluation at InStride Family Foot Care today using the online booking feature or by calling the office nearest you.