Chronic heel pain can be a frustrating and debilitating condition. It is usually caused by an irritated plantar fascia, which is the soft tissue that acts as a shock absorber with each step you take. At this point, it may benefit you to see a foot and ankle doctor, also known as a podiatrist.
A podiatrist can give you options for treating chronic heel pain. Their in-depth knowledge of the intricate structures of the feet and expertise at treating heel pain makes the entire process quick and efficient.
Let’s talk about some of the treatment options podiatrists use to treat chronic heel pain and where you can go in South Texas for high quality podiatry services.
Diagnosing Chronic Heel Pain
When you visit a podiatrist for chronic heel pain, the doctor will evaluate your foot and determine the cause of the pain through a physical exam and tests that may involve visualizing your foot’s inner structures.
Treatment Options for Chronic Heel Pain
The podiatrist may recommend one or more of the following to relieve heel pain:
Custom orthotics are specially designed shoe inserts that provide support and cushioning to alleviate heel pain. It can also address the issues that put you at an increased risk for heel pain, like biomechanical issues, or high arches or flat feet.
Physical therapists can guide you through exercises and use modalities that can provide relief from heel pain. One technique they use is massage therapy, which can help boost circulation, relax muscles, and ease pressure on the heel. It can also help relieve heel spur pain, which can become a problem due to chronic plantar fasciitis.
PTs can also use taping and strapping techniques to provide support and stability to the foot and reduce stress on the plantar fascia.
A tight plantar fascia can contribute to heel pain, and so do tight calf muscles. Foot and ankle doctors usually recommend targeted stretching exercises to loosen up tight muscles and make them more flexible, which altogether can be very effective in relieving heel pain.
To prevent the tightening of the plantar fascia during rest, a podiatrist might suggest using night splints. These devices help maintain a gentle stretch in the foot while you sleep, reducing morning heel pain.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that uses sound waves, which are higher-energy pulses, to stimulate the healing of the plantar fascia. It is usually recommended only after the problem does not improve after six months of treatment.
Proper footwear plays a crucial role in managing chronic heel pain. A podiatrist can provide guidance on selecting shoes that offer relief from heel pain, with features such as adequate arch support, cushioning, and a proper fit.
Surgery for Chronic Heel Pain
In cases where conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief, podiatrists may consider surgical intervention as a last resort. Surgical options vary depending on the underlying cause of the heel pain and may involve procedures to remove scar tissue buildup, perform a plantar fascia release, or remove bone spurs.
Chronic Heel Pain Treatment in San Antonio, Boerne, Hondo, Floresville, Kenedy, Uvalde, and Live Oak, TX
The Podiatry Group of South Texas is a premier provider of podiatry services in South Texas. Our podiatrists are highly experienced in the treatment of chronic heel pain, as well as heel spurs and Achilles’ tendonitis, which are associated with it.