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The Weil Journal

Is Heel Pain Slowing You Down?

At Weil Foot & Ankle Institute, one of the most common podiatric problems that patients in Cook, Lake and Dupage counties bring to us is heel pain. This discomfort can take several forms. It may be sharp and excruciating or a dull, ongoing ache. Pain may be worse when you first get up, but then get better as you start moving around.

Heel pain can have several different sources, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis—this condition occurs when the plantar fascia (the long band of tissue that spans the bottom of your foot from toe to heel) becomes inflamed
  • Heel spur syndrome—plantar fasciitis with one or more heel spurs present
  • Stress fracture
  • Nerve irritation
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Cysts

Since the causes of heel pain are so varied, it’s best to make an appointment at our offices in Bannockburn, Orland Park, Roselle or any of our other 16 conveniently located offices by calling 847-390-7666. Our podiatrists will examine your heels and feet, get a complete medical history and order any necessary tests to diagnose your problem.

Getting Relief

The source of your heel pain will determine the treatment. Plantar fasciitis is the most frequent diagnosis. If this is the cause of your discomfort, there are several treatment strategies you can try at home. These include:

  • Limit activity—give your heel a chance to recover and for the inflammation to subside
  • Avoid going barefoot—walking without shoes puts extra strain on the plantar fascia
  • Ice the heel—wrap ice in a thin towel and apply for 20 minutes at a time several times a day
  • Medications—the foot doctor may prescribe over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
  • Stretch—exercises that stretch the calf muscles can bring relief and help the plantar fascia recover
  • Shoe modifications—switching to shoes that have better arch support and a slightly raised heel can also reduce strain on the plantar fascia

If you are still experiencing pain after a few weeks, our podiatrist will move on to other treatments such as strapping, night splints or custom orthotics. Don’t delay, contact us today for help with heel pain.

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