You rely on your feet to get to work, move around the house, and enjoy recreational activities. If your feet hurt, it’s a lot harder to live your best and most active life.
For many people, foot discomfort affects the back of the foot. Heel pain has some common causes, most of which can be treated with therapies ranging from conservative to invasive.
At Eastside Podiatry PLC in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, our board-certified podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Hatim Burhani and Dr. Siraj Panchbhaiya, understand the causes of heel pain, from the common to the unusual.
We can determine the reason for your heel discomfort and put together a treatment plan to get you back on your feet, moving freely and without pain. Here are some of the most common reasons our patients visit us with heel pain.
1. Plantar fasciitis
The most common cause of heel pain in adults, plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the connective tissue (fascia) that runs along and supports the bottom of your foot.
Plantar fasciitis can occur due to wear-and-tear or a traumatic injury. Running, jumping, and standing for long periods on hard surfaces all increase your risk of this painful condition. The pain is often worse when you first get up in the morning.
2. Achilles tendinitis
Your Achilles tendon runs from your heel bone up to the muscles in your lower leg. Your Achilles tendon can stretch and tear under stress, causing heel pain and inflammation in the affected tendon. Athletes like basketball players and runners are at heightened risk of Achilles tendinitis.
Our team at Eastside Podiatry PLC specializes in Achilles tendon repair.
3. Bursitis (joint inflammation)
The joints in your foot rely on cushioning, fluid-filled sacs known as bursae. A bursa that’s stressed can swell or become damaged. People who stand for long stretches have a higher risk of developing bursitis, which can result in tenderness on the back of the heel.
4. Stress fractures
A stress fracture indicates small cracks in a bone that result from overuse. You’re more likely to suffer from stress fractures in your feet if you’re overweight or obese or have a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis that affects your bone health.
Diagnosis and treatment of heel pain
When you visit Eastside Podiatry PLC suffering from heel pain, we perform a physical exam, review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, and run state-of-the-art diagnostic tests as needed to confirm the cause of your heel pain. Your provider then creates a treatment plan.
Heel pain often resolves using conservative treatments like rest and medication. More persistent cases might benefit from minimally invasive platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or may even require surgery.