Heel Pain

Everyone experiences heel pain occasionally, but if your symptoms occur when you aren’t walking or standing, identifying the cause is crucial. At The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center in Spring, Texas, experienced podiatrist Michael Frazier, DPM, specializes in diagnosing and treating heel pain with a conservative and evidence-based approach. Call The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center today to schedule a heel pain consultation or book your appointment online.

Is heel pain always caused by plantar fasciitis?

No. At The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center, the podiatrists treat several causes of heel pain, including:

Plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that causes microtears to form in the plantar fascia –– a band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot. These microtears become inflamed, causing sharp or stabbing heel pain that’s most noticeable after exercise or extended periods of rest.

Achilles tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis causes chronic inflammation of the Achilles tendon –– a band of tissue that connects the calves to the heel bones. It commonly affects runners and other athletes who place regular stress on their heels.

Heel spurs
Heel spurs are small, bony growths that form on the back of the heel bone. Anyone can develop heel spurs, but they’re most common in people with other foot conditions, like flat feet and plantar fasciitis.

Don’t wait to seek treatment if you have heel pain that lasts for more than a week and it doesn’t improve with rest, ice, and over-the-counter medication.

What are the symptoms of heel pain?

Heel pain symptoms include:

  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Skin discoloration

You might notice that your pain gets worse when you stand up after sitting or lying down.

How does a podiatrist diagnose heel pain?

The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center providers review your medical records and ask about your symptoms, including where the pain occurs, what it feels like, and if it extends into your foot or lower leg.

Next, they examine your heel, ankle, and Achilles tendon, checking for bruising and swelling. They assess your range of motion and ask you to stand up and walk around the room. Your provider gently presses on your heel and Achilles tendon to identify sensitive areas.

The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center providers order X-rays if they suspect an underlying condition, like heel spurs or a broken bone.

How does a podiatrist treat heel pain?

The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center treats heel pain with minimally invasive measures. Your provider might suggest:

  • Corticosteroid injections to relieve pain and reduce swelling
  • Custom orthotics
  • Prescription anti-inflammatory medication
  • Stretching exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Taping

Most heel pain improves with a combination of these treatments, but it may take several weeks or months to achieve lasting relief.