Every year, millions of Americans visit the doctor due to heel pain. This common problem can make it difficult to stand or walk, interfering with exercise, work, and other routine tasks. At his Houston-area practice, Kent Jarvis, DPM, provides comprehensive treatment for heel pain. To schedule an appointment at The Woodlands or Atascocita, Texas, location, book online or call to speak with a staff member today.
Heel pain is a common musculoskeletal problem characterized by swelling, tenderness, or aching that affects the bottom of the foot directly below the ankle. Sometimes, it causes minor discomfort that responds to at-home treatments like ice and rest. Other times, it’s persistent, making it difficult to walk the dog or spend time with friends.
Dr. Jarvis treats heel pain caused by various issues, including:
Plantar fasciitis is a wear-and-tear injury that causes your plantar fascia, a band of thick tissue that runs from your heel to your toes, to become irritated and inflamed. That irritation results in severe heel pain. It’s especially noticeable in the morning or following long periods of rest.
If you play sports that involve repetitive movements or rapid changes in direction, like basketball, soccer, or football, you’re susceptible to sports injuries like sprains, strains, and joint dislocations. Common sports injuries that affect the heel include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and post-traumatic arthritis.
Fractures cause damage to a bone. Some are small and nearly invisible; others are large and cause visible abnormalities like bruising, bumps, or swelling. Most fractures respond well to casting and splinting. However, if the damage is severe, Dr. Jarvis might recommend surgery.
Tendinitis occurs when one or more of the tendons –– bands of tissue that connect your muscles to the bone –– in your feet become inflamed. Common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include intense heel pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Arthritis is a group of more than 100 diseases that cause joint damage and inflammation. Several types of arthritis can affect your heel, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.
To diagnose heel pain, Dr. Jarvis reviews your health history and asks about your symptoms. He then physically examines your heel, gently pressing on it to pinpoint areas of warmth, tenderness, or swelling. Afterward, he has you walk around the exam room to observe your gait and posture.
If Dr. Jarvis suspects your pain is due to a fracture or a bone spur, he orders X-rays or an MRI to assess the bones and soft tissues in your feet.
Treatment for heel pain depends on the underlying cause and the intensity of your symptoms. Usually, Dr. Jarvis recommends conservative types of care, including:
If these treatments don’t provide significant relief, Dr. Jarvis might recommend surgery, but only as a last resort.
To receive treatment for heel pain, request a consultation at the practice of Kent Jarvis, DPM. Call to speak with a member of the support staff or book online today.