Heel pain often happens rather suddenly, such as with conditions like plantar fasciitis, but it can also be caused by conditions that take longer to develop including arthritis and skin ailments like calluses. Since your heels are instrumental for walking, exercising, or just standing up, determining the cause and getting prompt and proper treatment from your podiatrist will help get you back on your feet.
The sources of heel pain and discomfort include the following:
1) Heel fractures - The heel bone often suffers a hard landing playing sports like basketball and tennis. The heel bone can actually break or a stress fracture can develop from the repeated pounding.
2) Gouty arthritis - While a gout attack is more often associated with the big toe or ankle joint, it can also affect the heel causing severe swelling and redness and making it difficult to put on shoes and to walk. Gout is caused by the painful crystallization of uric acid into the joints and may be exacerbated by alcohol consumption and foods high in purines
3) Heel fissures and calluses - When calluses on the heel become thick and brittle it can cause heel fissures to form with severe cracking and possible bleeding as a result that may allow bacteria or fungal infections to get in.
4) Plantar fasciitis - While this condition is actually the result of stress to the fibrous tissue that spans the bottom of the foot, it also causes pain in the heel area. Cutting-edge laser therapy is an excellent treatment for heel pain.
Minor heel pain can be treated at home with rest, icing, and elevation, but for heel pain that persists or worsens, consult with our board-certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, and skin problems, among many other conditions. Our practice is conveniently located on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!