Finding the Answer for Heel Pain

Nothing slows you down like pain. Sore teeth? You don’t feel like eating much. Hurting head? Concentration becomes a chore. Heel pain? The last thing you want to do is go for a run—or even walk around much at work or at home. We want you to understand what brings on the discomfort, so you can learn ways to avoid it or get the treatment you need.

Why Do My Heels Hurt?

There are so many different reasons.

  • Examination for Heel PainPlantar fasciitis—the number one cause of heel pain—is the swelling, tearing, and inflammation of your plantar fascia which connects your toes and heels to form your foot arch.
  • You can get a bone bruise by stepping on a sharp rock or banging it hard against a table leg.
  • The bone can also fracture—usually as the result of a fall or crush accident.
  • You can develop Achilles tendinitis—inflammation of the strong cord behind your ankle that connects to your calf muscles.
  • Overpronation (inward rolling of the foot) as you walk can put extra strain on the tendons and ligaments around the heel bone (calcaneus) and cause them to stretch, tear, or become inflamed.
  • Bursitis, an inflammation in the cushioning sacs between the calcaneus and tendons, may cause pressure and tenderness.
  • Bone spurs can form under your heel or at the back (called Haglund’s deformity) that irritate the surrounding tissues.

Diagnosing Your Sore Heels

Most of these conditions are not obvious to the untrained eye, which is why constant or recurring pain in your heel really requires the help of a podiatrist like Dr. Jyotsna Thapar, who will help you get to the bottom of the problem and figure out the best way to treat it.

At your visit, we’ll ask lots of questions: When did you first notice it? How long have you had it? When does it hurt the worst? We’ll feel the foot to see exactly where the hot spots are or where it may be swollen. We may ask you to stand on one foot or walk around so we can evaluate your gait. If we think it is necessary, we may also order diagnostic tests like X-rays or an MRI.

Help for Your Heel Pain in South Plainfield & Warren, NJ

Proper fitting shoesOnce we have a handle on what’s behind your discomfort, we can start conservative treatments that may help. Many times these are simple remedies like changing the type of shoes you wear, stretching, icing the area, or using inserts to redirect the pressure of your weight on your foot structure.  We can also advise you about appropriate medication that can help you over the worst of it.

Last, we’ll advise you to rest, often the most important and effective treatment. Simply allowing the damaged tissues the time to heal without additional stress placed on them is many times all that is needed to relieve your symptoms. You can rest easy that most heel pain will not require surgery. Exceptions may be a severe fracture where the calcaneus needs to be reconstructed, or a ruptured tendon that needs to be reattached.

Our Focus is on You

When you come in for evaluation and treatment, we won’t just look at your feet. We want to get to know you, because healing from foot problems requires a team approach. We can diagnose what’s wrong and prescribe treatment, but you need to follow through with home care and any follow-up appointments for the best results.

Heels hurting? Give Ankle and Foot Specialist of New Jersey a call. We are conveniently located between Edison and South Plainfield on Oak Tree Avenue, or in our office on Mountain Blvd. Ext., Warren. You can reach us by phone at 908-222-8980, or use our online form to contact us and set up your appointment. We’ll get you moving pain-free again!

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