Heel pain is a common complaint among people of all ages — athletes, children, men, and women. Dr. Mafutaga Tagaloa-Tulifau at the Tagaloa-Tulifau Foot & Ankle Center, Inc provides shockwave therapy for treating resistant heel pain and get you moving again. If you’re ready for pain-free walking, call Tagaloa-Tulifau Foot & Ankle Center, Inc in Lakewood, California, or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.
You can develop heel pain from many different causes, such as flat arches and running on an uneven surface. Shoes that don’t cushion your feet adequately can lead to heel pain.
Inflammation of your Achilles tendon often causes pain behind your heel. When the pain originates on the bottom of your heel, you may have a bruise from stepping on a hard object, plantar fasciitis, or a heel spur.
A broad band of strong connective tissue starts at your heel, runs across the bottom of your foot, and connects to your toes. This connective tissue, the plantar fascia, serves as a shock absorber and supports the arches in your feet.
When the plantar fascia endures too much pressure, the tissues become damaged or wholly torn and inflamed. This condition is plantar fasciitis.
The primary symptom of plantar fasciitis – heel pain – may be dull or quite sharp. The pain is typically worse with the first steps you take after resting, then improves with activity. There are two exceptions, however. Plantar fasciitis is painful when you climb stairs and engage in repetitive activities like jumping.
Heel spurs usually develop when plantar fasciitis continues for an extended period, but you can also have a heel spur without the plantar fasciitis. Abnormal bone accumulates in response to ongoing stress, causing a bone spur to grow on your heel where the fascia attaches to the bone.
Dr. Tagaloa-Tulifau takes an X-ray to determine whether you have a heel spur, then develops an individualized treatment plan based on the severity of your pain and its underlying cause. Your treatment may include:
You may need to take a break from the activities that cause the problem. Dr. Tagaloa-Tulifau may also recommend exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon or heel inserts that fit inside your shoes to provide cushioning and relieve pressure.
Medication and surgery
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve pain and swelling. Your doctor may consider corticosteroid injections that effectively reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. If you still have heel pain after about 12 months of treatment, Dr. Tagaloa-Tulifau may talk with you about extracorporeal shock wave treatment or surgical options.