Heel pain is such a common occurrence that diagnosing it can be difficult. However, if you are experiencing heel pain, you probably understand how quickly this condition can affect your quality of life. Luckily, your Nashville, TN podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Nashville are here to help you beat your heel pain for good.
Where does heel pain come from?
There are countless conditions which could cause your heel pain. Many factors come into play, such as lifestyle, the amount of use, how active you are and family and medical history. Some common causes of heel pain include:
- plantar fasciitis
- heel spur
- bone spur
- Achilles tendinitis
- pinched nerves
- rheumatoid arthritis
- issues with the fat pads on your feet
- stress fractures
How can my podiatrist help?
Your Nashville, TN podiatrist uses several methods to diagnose your heel pain. A physical examination helps them spot any obvious abnormalities on the outside of the foot. To search for abnormalities inside of the foot, your doctor uses imaging processes like x-rays or MRIs. Occasionally, blood tests help your doctor determine if there are underlying conditions causing your pain. It is helpful to keep a log of your pain including where the pain is located, its severity on a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (the worst pain), how long it lasts and what makes it better or worse. Once they determine what is causing your heel pain, your doctor works with you to determine the best course of treatment for your situation and lifestyle.
How is heel pain treated?
Heel pain treatment varies depending on the patient. Often, simply resting the foot and staying off of it as much as possible allows the body to heal itself. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen and icing the foot helps to relieve heel pain at home. Physical therapy in the form of specialized stretches and exercises help loosen and strengthen the muscles which support your foot. Medications to reduce swelling and pain are prescribed when over-the-counter medications do not work. Your doctor may recommend injectable corticosteroid if oral medications do not provide results. Night splints and custom orthotics which fit inside the shoe help align the foot and ankle.
For more information on heel pain, please contact DPM and Dr. Timothy W. Bush, DPM at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Nashville, TN. Call 615-662-6676 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable associate about scheduling your foot exam today.