Most everyone has experienced heel pain at some point or other. Maybe you’ve had a stone bruise, worn uncomfortable shoes, or stood for too long without a break. But when heel pain lasts for weeks or months, it can disrupt your life in surprising ways.

At Grand Central Podiatry in Midtown Manhattan, New York, Dr. Ernest Levi and his team want you to enjoy outstanding foot health. You should be able to stand when you want to without debilitating heel pain or to participate in sports without aching feet. Getting to the source of your pain is an important part of figuring out how to treat it.

In this post, we discuss four of the most common reasons for heel pain; however, the best way to find out what’s causing your pain is to get a thorough evaluation of your feet. Dr. Levi is happy to recommend a treatment plan so you can enjoy life without heel pain again.

1. Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot. It’s there to provide shock absorption and to support your foot structure.

Each time you stand, step, jump, or otherwise move your foot, your plantar fascia is hard at work. Although it’s tough tissue, it’s not indestructible. Under some conditions, your plantar fascia can endure microtears, inflammation, or other damage. When that happens, you have plantar fasciitis.

If you have tight calf muscles, you’re obese, or you have flat feet, you’re more likely to develop plantar fasciitis than other people. Additionally, if you do high-impact activities often such as running or you stand on hard surfaces for many hours at a time, you have an elevated risk.

The most common treatments are resting your feet, performing foot stretches, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and wearing supportive footwear. Dr. Levi can recommend other treatments if these more conservative methods don’t help.

2. Achilles tendonitis

You might associate your Achilles tendon more with your ankle than your heel, but it connects your calf muscle to the bone in your heel. When your Achilles tendon is inflamed, it can cause heel pain.

Most often, Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury. If you run, especially if you dramatically increase your mileage in a short period, if you regularly climb stairs or jump, or if you begin walking much more than usual, you may develop Achilles tendonitis.

Appropriate treatments are similar to those for plantar fasciitis, but it also depends on the extent of the injury. An evaluation by a skilled podiatrist like Dr. Levi is the best way to determine the right treatment for you.

3. Heel spurs

Around 70% of people who have plantar fasciitis develop heel spurs, which are bony growths on the bottom of the heel bone. Although heel spurs can be the result of plantar fasciitis, they can also occur in people who don’t have heel pain at all.

Treating heel spurs is often a matter of treating plantar fasciitis. Talking to Dr. Levi about your shoes and activities can help, along with following his treatment suggestions.

4. Bursitis

Bursas are small fluid-filled sacs that are present in many of your joints to smooth the movement between tendons and muscles. Unfortunately, bursas can become irritated and inflamed, and when that happens in your heel, you have heel bursitis.

Heel bursitis is sometimes associated with an abnormal gait or with shoes that don’t have enough cushioning. Anti-inflammatory medication can help ease your heel pain, and bursas can heal with proper treatment.

If you’re living with heel pain, contact Grand Central Podiatry today to make an appointment so Dr. Levi can evaluate the cause and help you determine a plan to alleviate that pain.

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