Heel pain may be the result of a single injury – such as stepping on a stone or bruising the heel. More common, heel pain is the result of repetitive stress and overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. A faulty structure of the foot — either an arch that is too high or too low – can result in heel pain, as can arthritis, infection, trauma, neurological problems, warts or an autoimmune disorder. To be sure, it’s awful when your heel hurts. But when should you see a doctor? Read on to find out.
When it comes to heel pain, you should see a doctor immediately if you experience the following:
- Severe, intolerable pain
- Intense swelling
- Inability to bend the foot or rise on your toes
- Trouble walking normally
- Heel pain accompanied by fever and numbness
- Severe heel pain after an injury
- Open sores or wounds that won’t heal properly
Additionally, visit immediately your doctor if:
- The pain continues when you’re not walking or standing.
- The heel pain lasts for more than a few days, even after complete rest and home treatment.
Your doctor will examine your foot and check your medical history. X-rays or other imaging modalities may also be used to distinguish which type of heel pain you’re experiencing. Oftentimes heel pain may be the result of an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or arthritis. Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor may offer any variety of treatments to include –
- Physical therapy
- Injections such as cortisone
- Athletic wrap or orthopedic shoes
- Shock wave therapy to stimulate healing
- Orthotics to correct foot faults and support the arch
- Wound care
If the heel pain does not respond to nonsurgical treatment, or if the pain does not subside after several weeks, your doctor may recommend you undergo a surgical treatment to relieve pressure from a nerve, remove a heel spur, or treat an inflamed tendon. If the pain is the result of an underlying condition, your podiatrist will work with your medical specialist to ensure full and complete care.
Podiatrists in Cincinnati, Ohio
What you might think is simple heel pain could be something more. The only way to know for sure is to visit your foot and ankle specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. The good news is that heel pain is one of the most common conditions we treat at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. If you’re suffering from heel pain or other foot and ankle issue, we can provide the latest and most appropriate treatments for you. Click here to arrange a consultation at a conveniently located office near you, or you may request an appointment online. Put your best foot forward and call us today.