Heel pain is very common and can have many underlying causes. It could be due to overuse, your choice of footwear, or lack of conditioning. One thing’s for sure, heel pain can make daily life difficult. You want to be able to get up, stand, and walk without having to suffer through symptoms. While taking over-the-counter medication may help achieve some temporary relief, not addressing the underlying issue guarantees heel pain will become a chronic problem.
A podiatrist is a doctor who has the specialized training needed to effectively treat heel pain. It is one of the many conditions they regularly treat. Below, we talk about what a heel pain doctor can do for you.
Evaluate Your Gait and Lower Extremities
A podiatrist may use different methods to determine the source of your heel pain. Foot and ankle doctors can perform a thorough examination of your foot, which includes palpating and checking the skin on your feet and legs for any abnormal growths and check for signs of poor circulation. The doctor may use tests such as gait analysis, an evaluation of your footwear, and imaging tests such as X-rays and ultrasounds to visualize the bones and other structures in the foot.
The doctor can provide a lot of information about your pathology, such as bad posture, poor alignment, improper footwear, poor form or technique, lack of conditioning, muscle weakness and stiffness, bunions, hammertoe, high arches, and flat feet. After leaving the podiatry clinic, you will understand what is contributing to your heel pain and what you need to do to experience relief and prevent the problem of heel pain from becoming chronic, thereby preserving the health of your feet.
Develop a Customized Treatment Plan
After the foot and ankle doctor has diagnosed the cause of heel pain, they will proceed to develop a treatment plan for you. Some of the elements that may be included in a treatment plan for heel pain are cold therapy, custom orthotics, cortisone injections, physical therapy, and shockwave therapy, which altogether can provide immense relief from heel pain and promote the healing of injured and inflamed tissue in the foot.
- Cold therapy is one simple yet effective way to relieve heel pain and reduce inflammation. The podiatrist may recommend special devices such as heel ice packs and cold therapy socks for greater convenience when applying cold therapy to your heel.
- Custom-made orthotics or shoe inserts can help alleviate heel pain by addressing the specific needs of the foot, be it additional support and cushioning or even distribution of weight, which can reduce pressure on the heel and relieve pain.
- Cortisone injections are a type of steroid medication that can be injected directly into the heel to help bring down inflammation and relieve pain. This type of treatment can provide relief from plantar fasciitis heel pain for up to 12 weeks.
- Physical therapy involves targeted exercises and stretches designed to improve the strength and flexibility of not just the plantar fascia but also of the calf muscles to reduce strain on the heel for great relief.
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive treatment that uses soundwaves to break up scar tissue, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the healing of the tissue. ESWT is effective in treating chronic cases of plantar fasciitis and other conditions that cause heel pain.
Heel Pain Treatment in South Texas
Our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group of South Texas can treat your heel pain quickly and efficiently. We have decades of experience treating the foot and ankle issues of San Antonio, Boerne, Hondo, Floresville, Kenedy, Uvalde, and Live Oak residents, and can’t wait to bring you relief from heel pain.
Find out what treatments our foot and ankle doctors may recommend for you. Schedule an appointment by calling our podiatry office nearest you or using our online form. We make it easy to schedule a visit to our doctors.