Heel pain can be a real motivation killer. Whether you experience it first thing in the morning, during exercise, or after a long day at work, it can really sap your motivation to enjoy everything the East Bay area has to offer.
But not to worry! Although heel pain is a widespread issue, it also tends to be a highly treatable one.
We proudly provide treatment for a wide range of heel pain causes. Most of our patients get back to doing what they love with greatly reduced or fully eliminated discomfort within a few months of beginning treatment.
What Causes Heel Pain?
Part of what can make heel pain tricky to treat at home is that it is not a single condition in itself. Heel pain can stem from a variety of different conditions, each of which can have one or more causes behind it.
A few of the common causes of heel pain-related problems include:
- Overuse. When you exert too much stress on the soft tissues of the foot, the result can be heel pain. Overuse can occur either by pushing your body too hard at one time, or via repetitive impacts over a longer period without enough time off to properly recover.
- Unfavorable footwear and conditions. Shoes that shift too much weight to certain areas of the foot can lead to heel pain. So can spending long periods of time standing or moving on hard surfaces.
- Structural abnormalities in the foot. Sometimes the environmental problem is inside your foot. Conditions such as flat feet or high arches can affect the ways that weight is distributed over the feet, also leading to problems.
Factors like those described above can exist independently or work together to cause a variety of conditions. Heel pain can often be tied to conditions such as (but not limited to):
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Stress Fractures
- Sever’s Disease
- Haglund’s Deformity
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
So to effectively treat heel pain, it’s not enough to know what the condition is. We also need to know the underlying causes and address them directly to achieve the best results – as well as reduce the chances of the problem coming back in the future.
How to Treat Heel Pain
As we’ve previously noted, the specific treatment plan for a particular case of heel pain will highly depend on the condition and underlying causes at hand. Before making any recommendations, we will first conduct a physical exam and ask you questions about the factors surrounding your condition to get the best overall picture of what we’re dealing with.
Surgery is almost never required for heel pain, and will only be considered if other forms of treatment prove ineffective. Parts of an overall heel pain treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
- Changes to footwear. Remember to use the right shoes for any sport or activity, and that your footwear properly fits your feet and supports your arches.
- Custom orthotics. When footwear can’t provide the exact support and cushioning your feet need, custom orthotic inserts can step in to properly redistribute weight as you stand and move.
- Changes to activity levels and/or routines. We want you to keep moving, but not pushing yourself in ways that can complicate your condition! We can help you determine the best ways to challenge yourself without risking further discomfort.
- Rest. You may very well need to reduce or cease certain activities – usually only temporarily – to give your injured tissues the opportunity to heal.
- Icing. An appropriate icing regimen can both relieve inflammation and reduce pain.
- Medication. We may recommend or prescribe certain pain relievers, or use corticosteroid injections to provide relief.
Get the Heel Pain Relief You Need
Whatever the severity, never let persistent heel pain continue unaddressed. The sooner you seek help, the faster and more efficiently the problem tends to be resolved.
Reach our Berkeley office by phone at (510) 647-3744 or reach out to us online by filling out our contact form. We’ll help you figure out what’s at the root of your heel pain and set you on the path to effective treatment.