Heel pain: It’s Many Causes From Tigard to Gresham and All around the State
The foot is a complex structure consisting of both soft tissue and bony components. The rearfoot can be a source of pain for many patients. The leg bones join with the talus (the foot bone) to form the ankle joint which allows the foot to move up and down in relation to the leg. The talus also sits on top of the calcaneus (heel bone) and together they form the subtalar joint which provides inward and outward motion of the rearfoot which many people think is their ankle movement. There is a vast network of ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and nerves surrounding these structures and they function together to create pain free activities of daily living in the normal individual.
Heel pain is a common complaint of podiatric patients. The pain may be from an obvious traumatic event – big or small, or may seem to come on from nowhere. A detailed history of events leading up to the onset of the pain is helpful in diagnosing the condition. It is important to note that foot pain of any sort is NOT normal and timely treatment should be pursued so as to not worsen the condition.
One of the most common heel conditions is plantar fasciitis. Most patients will experience pain on the bottom of their heel upon rising out of bed, after prolonged periods of standing and after periods of rest and initiating standing once again. This condition can be mild at first but may also progress to be debilitating to the point of experiencing extreme pain whenever the affected heel has pressure applied to it. There are numerous effective conservative treatment measures that can help to resolve the condition and prevent its return. The earlier the intervention the better the outcome will be with conservative treatment measures. A small percentage of patients will need to progress to surgical treatment of the condition.
It is important to be evaluated by your Podiatrist as there are a number of conditions that may mimic the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, including but not limited to: tarsal tunnel syndrome (like carpal tunnel but in the foot), heel fracture or stress fracture, heel cyst or mass, soft tissue mass, flexor tendon tear, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis, Sever’s disease (heel pain in children at the growth plate), Haglund’s deformity (bony overgrowth), heel spurs and Achilles tendinitis. In the evaluation of heel pain your Podiatrist may order testing in addition to the physical exam such as: x-rays, MRI, CT, bone scan, ultra sound, nerve conduction velocity testing, electromyelogram testing.
If you have heel pain, call today and we can get you an appointment to get you back on your feet exercising and working pain free. Do not hesitate to seek treatment as a timely diagnosis from the onset of symptoms helps to produce the best results.
-Dr. Gerald Peterson & Dr. Jason Keeler