Heel pain is a common foot condition that can be debilitating and uncomfortable for a person. Some causes of chronic heel pain include nerve compression, Achilles tendonitis, stress fracture, and inflammation of the small muscles of the foot. Two of the most common foot conditions that result in heel pain are plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue – plantar fascia – that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. This inflammation causes sharp, burning pain in the back of the foot that is worse after you have been off your feet for an extended period of time.
A heel spur is a hook of bone that protrudes from the bottom of the foot where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone. It is caused by the buildup of calcium deposits due to strains on foot muscles and ligaments. Pain that is associated with heel spurs is actually pain from plantar fasciitis.
Conditions that cause heel pain can be diagnosed through observation, x-rays, and MRIs. The specific diagnosis determines treatment. Initially, treatment can include stretching exercises, ice applications, anti-inflammatory medications, taping, and/or orthotics. In addition, Dr. Burmeister may consider corticosteroid injections if several weeks of previously mentioned treatments have not relieved the heel pain. Dr. Burmeister uses a madajet, which numbs the area before the introduction of the needle so there is no pain with the needle stick. He gives the injection slowly in order to allow the pressure in the heel area to dissipate while injecting the medication. By delivering the medication slowly, any pain that might be caused by the shot is decreased by almost 95%. When these initial treatment choices are not successful, surgery is an option.
If you experience heel pain, Dr. Jeffrey Burmeister, DPM, and his experienced staff are ready to fully diagnose, treat, and see you on your way to pain-free living. Schedule an appointment by completing an online appointment request at www.jacksonvillefootandlaser.com/contact.html or by calling (904) 765-8889.