When you are dealing with chronic heel pain, it can interfere with your ability to comfortably perform daily activities. For example, the simple act of walking can be painful when you have heel pain. Further, heel pain can get worse throughout the day the more you are on your feet.
Fortunately, here at Big Sky Foot & Ankle Institute in Bozeman and Butte, MT, our knowledgeable foot doctors, Dr. Dallin Greene and Dr. Nathan Judd, can recommend specific treatment options for your heel pain.
Common Causes of Heel Pain
One of the most common causes of heel pain is a foot condition known as plantar fasciitis. Along the bottom of the foot are the plantar fascia tissues. When these tissues become inflamed and irritated, heel pain can develop. Individuals who are most likely to develop plantar fasciitis are those who routinely overpronate when walking or running. Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls inward so that the arch flattens when stepping.
Heel pain can also develop as a result of performing repetitive motions that put stress or strain on the feet. Other potential causes of heel pain include:
- Heel spurs
- Foot injuries
- Stress fractures
Several options are available for treating heel pain. Minor heel pain can often be effectively treated by resting the foot, applying ice, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers. Another way to ease minor heel pain is to wear supportive shoes with adequate cushioning, especially in the heel area.
Severe or chronic heel pain is best treated by a podiatrist. The skilled foot doctors at our office in Bozeman and Butte, MT, can develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Some options for treating heel pain include:
- Physical Therapy — Exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles in the feet.
- Custom Orthotics — Devices placed inside the shoes to provide cushioning, stability, and arch support.
- Padding and Strapping — Padding in the shoes helps minimize the impact of walking, while strapping provides support for the feet and minimizes strain on the plantar fascia tissues.
- Night Splint — Worn while sleeping, the splint helps reduce heel pain by keeping the plantar fascia tissues in a stretched position for an extended time.
- Corticosteroids — Injected into the foot to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
- Surgery — When other treatment options have not completely resolved the issue, surgery can be performed to correct structural problems in the foot that are contributing to heel pain. Surgery is also needed to remove painful heel spurs or heel calluses.
Heel pain can be resolved with the right treatment plan developed by a podiatrist. To learn about your treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Greene or Dr. Judd, our experienced foot doctors, by calling Big Sky Foot & Ankle Institute in Bozeman at (406) 206-6366 or at (406) 782-2278 for our Butte location.