When you’re suffering with heel pain, it’s natural to have lots of questions. You want to know more about why this is happening, what is causing the problem, and how it can be treated. Understanding your heel pain and your treatment options can help you get the care you need to eliminate your pain and restore your heels to full health. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about heel pain and its treatments.
What Causes Heel Pain?
Heel pain is a generic name that refers to many different conditions that affect your heels. Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Haglund’s deformity, heel bursitis, fractures, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and more can all lead to pain in the back of your foot. For many of these conditions, overuse is the underlying problem. Excessive pressure, repetitive impacts, and general overuse strain the feet and lead to damage in different tissues attached to the heel bone. Traumatic injuries and things that pinch or compress nerve can also be an underlying cause. Getting your heel pain accurately diagnosed will be important for receiving the right treatment.
What Are My Treatment Options for Heel Pain?
There are many different conservative, noninvasive treatment options to help relieve pain and allow the damaged tissues to heal. You may need to change your shoes to wear more supportive, cushioned models that help your feet absorb pressure and hard impacts better. In some cases, custom orthotics add stability and biomechanical control to help your feet avoid getting overworked. Physical therapy is a common method to address heel pain as well. Through stretching and strengthening exercises, tightened tissues are loosened and relaxed while your lower limbs build up power to better support themselves. Alternative noninvasive therapies like EPAT can speed up natural healing, too.
Can Heel Pain Be Treated at Home?
Yes, home care can help manage your heel pain symptoms. Prop up your feet periodically to rest them. Stretch your feet out daily, particularly your calves and Achilles, to loosen tightened tissues. Try massaging your feet with your hands, or roll a frozen tennis ball or other round object around under your sole. Only wear supportive shoes that have cushioning under the heels to help absorb pressure there. If the pain persists or get worse, seek professional help for targeted, in-depth treatments.
How Can EPAT Help Heel Pain?
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) is a newer method that uses energy to trigger your body’s natural healing responses. This has been quite effective for people struggling with chronic plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Highly targeted pulses of energy are directed at the damaged soft tissues in your heels. The pulses stimulate your body’s immune system in the treated area, increasing blood flow there and bringing in more nutrients your heels desperately need. This speeds up your body’s natural repair process, allowing the damaged tissues to regenerate into healthy ones. After just a few treatments, this can dramatically improve your pain and relieve the underlying damage.
Does Heel Pain Ever Need Surgery?
It’s rare, but occasionally heels do need surgery to repair damage and relieve pain. This is usually considered a last resort after all other noninvasive treatment methods—physical therapy, orthotics, EPAT, etc.—have been tried. If they have not helped improve the pain, surgery to correct the issue becomes an option.
Can Heel Pain Be Prevented?
Because so many sources of heel pain are related to overuse, heel pain can certainly be prevented. Wearing supportive shoes that help your lower limbs absorb hard impacts and support pressure will make a big difference. Stretch out your feet and condition them for your activities as well. Regular foot exercises can build up the muscles in your lower limbs so your feet handle strain better.
The more you know about your heels and your pain, the better decisions you can make to treat it. If you have more questions about heel pain and how to treat it, don’t hesitate to ask! You can check out more information here on our website through the Southern Nevada Heel Pain Center. You can also contact the experts at Absolute Foot Care Specialists more directly through our web request forms or by calling our Las Vegas offices at (702) 839-2010. Don’t accept living with heel pain when you don’t have to!