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Heel pain is one of the most common foot problems among patients seen regularly by a podiatrists in NYC. If you’re experiencing heel pain, you typically feel pain beneath your heel, along the connective tissue called the plantar fascia. This is a ribbon that runs from your heel to the bottom of your foot; it provides arch support. Plantar fasciitis is the medical condition when you have problems with this connective tissue.
The other common heel issue is with your Achilles tendon, which is located in the back of your heel. The Achilles tendon is the major tendon that connects your lower leg to the back of your heel. There are other causes of heel pain, too, including bone spurs.
Heel pain should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.
Playing Through Heel Pain
Heel pain may be severe, but it’s rarely disabling and it’s seldom a threat to your overall health. Most heel pain is mild and vanishes on its own, according to the leading foot doctor in Manhattan. There are cases where pain persists and it may even become a long-term or chronic issue. Finding a best in class NYC podiatrist enables you to receive a proper examination and diagnosis.
Of the 26 bones in your foot, the heel bone (called the calcaneus) is the largest. The heel functions to give support to the weight of your body. When you run, walk or jump, your heel absorbs the impact of the foot coming into contact with the ground. The heel also propels you forward with the next stride when you’re running.
Heel Pain Causes
Mechanical issues are what cause the majority of heel pain, which refer to the mechanisms of your foot and how it works. Pain is due usually to excessive pressure on your Achilles tendon or plantar fascia tissue. Heel pain may also be caused by an infection, arthritis, autoimmune problems or other systemic issues.
Heel pain isn’t caused typically by isolated injuries like a fall or a twist. More often, it’s the result of repetitive stress and the pounding of your weight on your heel from athletic activities. Your foot doctor can determine what’s causing your heel issues.
Symptoms of Heel Pain
Heel pain rarely shows immediate symptoms, but rather appears gradually with no sign of injury. Your foot doctor can better tell you the most likely causes in your situation. But symptoms are often triggered by walking barefoot on hard surfaces or wearing flat shoes or sandals.
Flat footwear stretches out the plantar fascia tissues to the point that they become sore and swollen. When your pain is centered beneath your foot, near the front part of your heel, the cause is likely plantar fasciitis.
The condition where your feet hurt after rest is known as post-static dyskinesia. If you have heel pain, you’ll probably feel this when you get up and walk for the first time in the morning or when you stand after extended periods of rest during the day.
When you visit a podiatrist in New York, describe the symptoms you may be feeling. If you experience any of the following, schedule a visit with your foot doctor in NYC as soon as possible:
- Numbness or a tingling sensation in your heel
- Pain accompanied by fever
- Severe heel pain with inflammation
- Inability to bend your foot down
- Inability to walk normally
- Unable to stand on the back of your feet and shift your weight to your tip-toes
- Extended pain even when you aren’t walking or standing
- Heel pain that persists over a week
All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.
Diagnosing Heel Pain
When you visit a good NYC podiatrist, you have to undergo a series of physical examinations. You also have to answer questions about your heel pain, your past health issues, and any foot-related issues that a member of your family has had. Your doctor typically asks how much standing and walking you do in a typical day, and what type of shoes you wear.
This exam is usually sufficient for determining what’s causing your heel pain. You may have X-rays or an MRI for bone issues, such as a break or bone spurs in your heel. If you’re concerned about your heel issues and want the best care, do a diligent search for a best in class NYC podiatrist.
Treatment of Heel Pain
The overwhelming majority of people with heel pain get better within months with conservative procedures — methods that don’t require surgery or a radical therapy regimen. Some of the conservative treatments your NYC foot doctor may recommend include:
- Corticosteroids: Man-made drugs that resemble natural anti-inflammatory hormones
- Physical therapy: Specialized therapy where you work with a professional therapist or are given therapy exercises to perform at home
- Night splints: A support that fits over your foot and calf to wear at night; it stretches your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia
- Orthotics: Support devices used to correct foot abnormalities and provide cradling and cushioning of the arch while it heals
If conservative methods don’t produce beneficial results after several months, your foot doctor may recommend these treatments:
- Shock wave therapy: Therapy using sound waves directed at the affected region to promote healing
- Surgery: Removal of the plantar fascia. This is a last resort method if nothing else has worked.
Treating heel bumps or bone spurs in your heel is slightly different. Heel bumps are swollen areas behind your heel. They’re typically relieved with a change to proper footwear, as well as the application of ice and compression.
Leading NYC podiatrists may recommend a simple regimen of treatment you can do yourself in your home. The most common treatments for home care include:
- Rest: Avoid standing for long durations and walking or running on hard surfaces
- Ice: Put a wrapped ice pack or bag of frozen peas on your heel for about 15 minutes
- Footwear: Only wear proper-fitting footwear with good arch support
- Supports: Use foot and arch supports, as well as heel cups and wedges, for pain relief
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Heel Pain treatment in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Jennifer McCoy of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.
Dr. Jennifer McCoy, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 389-9918