If you experience pain in your heel when you step down, it might be interfering with your daily activities, especially exercise. The experienced podiatrists at North Shore Foot & Ankle can identify the cause of your heel pain, and offer a range of effective treatment solutions. To learn more, contact the office in Syosset, NY, Flushing, NY, Rosedale, NY, Plainview, NY, and Lynbrook NY, or schedule a consultation online.

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What causes heel pain?

A variety of conditions can cause heel pain; most of these involve gait imbalances that put excess pressure on your heel as you walk or run. Exercise, like running and jogging, and wearing ill-fitting shoes, can make gait imbalance much worse, creating conditions that often result in heel pain. Some of these conditions include:

Heel spurs

Heel spurs are a type of bone spur in which a bony protrusion forms on the bottom of the heel bone. Heel spurs develop when the muscles and ligaments of the foot are repeatedly over-stretched and torn.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. When this band is damaged, it causes pain in the bottom of the foot, and it can also cause heel spurs to develop, resulting in heel pain.

Excessive pronation

“Pronation” refers to the foot rolling inward and the arch flattening. Pronation is a normal part of walking, but if you pronate too much, your gait becomes imbalanced, and your heel receives too much weight every time you step down, eventually causing heel pain.

Achilles tendinitis

If you have pain at the back of your heel, it might be the result of an inflammation in your Achilles tendon. If you have injured thick tendon at the back of your ankle, or if it has been strained over time, it can irritate your heel, or cause a heel spur to form.

Your heel pain could also be caused by nerve damage, arthritis, or diabetes, among other conditions. If you have diabetes and you have heel or any other kind of foot pain, you should schedule a foot exam right away to prevent further complications.

How does a podiatrist treat heel pain?

The caring team at North Shore Foot & Ankle always begin with conservative therapy. After an exam, X-rays, and reviewing your health history to determine the cause, your doctor will create a customized heel pain treatment plan that may include:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Orthotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Exercises and stretches

Most heel pain can be relieved with non-surgical treatment, but in some cases surgery is necessary. The doctors at North Shore Foot & Ankle are expert surgeons with the skill to correct the cause of your heel pain permanently.

If you are seeking relief from pain in your heel, call North Shore Foot & Ankle or schedule a consultation online.