Learning About The Bones In The Feet

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Heel Pain Diagnoses And Treatments

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Sore heels can occur along the back of the foot, underneath the heel area, or within the heel bone. Overuse of muscles, poor posture, and weight gain could contribute to heel issues. A medical exam will determine where the pain is stemming from and will determine how a podiatrist will treat the condition.

Some Common Heel Problems

Inflamed tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes is referred to as plantar fasciitis. This condition is often noted for the throbbing or stabbing pain in the heel area. A bony growth known as heel spurs can occur if plantar fasciitis is not treated.

Achilles tendinitis is when the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel becomes inflamed. Athletes are more prone to this condition than those who are not active. Quickly gaining weight could affect one's posture and cause strain on the ankles and heels. Other common heel problems include bursitis and bone bruising.

A Podiatrist Exam

A podiatrist will use a series of testing methods to determine what type of heel issue is present. The range of motion that one has, a patient's daily routine, and the type of footwear that they own can provide supporting evidence that a patient is suffering from a particular heel problem. A physical exam and x-rays will uncover a fracture, arthritis joint damage, or bone alignment concerns. 


An internal injury to the foot may require that a cast or orthopedic boot be worn while the injured area heals. If the heel pain is associated with the overuse of the foot or leg muscles, oral medications can be used to treat symptoms. An inflammatory medication will reduce swelling. For a more natural approach, a hot foot bath or a heating pad can be used to alleviate a sore heel.

An issue that results in a patient being unable to walk may require that their heel be taped. Sterile tape will be used to stabilize the heel that is affected. Bedrest can also aid in recovering from a heel issue.

If a podiatrist determines that a specific type of footwear is increasing heel pain, they can suggest some gel or foam liners that will provide comfort while the shoes are being worn. Allowing the feet to breathe and performing a series of therapeutic exercises can also aid in reducing pain. All of the treatments will be outlined once a podiatrist has made a diagnosis.

For more information about heel pain relief, contact a local podiatrist, such as Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists.