When you step on your heel, do you feel a stabbing pain? Or, is your heel reddened, swollen and tender? Whatever the extent of your discomfort, see your podiatrist at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA if your heel pain continues and impacts your life. Dr. Ramieri has the skill and experience to uncover the reasons why your heel hurts, and he can treat it successfully.
What causes heel pain?
Plantar warts, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and more lead to varying degrees of heel discomfort. When you come to our Woodbridge, your podiatrist will examine your feet, take X-rays and analyze your gait (how you walk). The information will help him formulate a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and get you feeling good once again.
The following conditions are common causes of heel pain:
- Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation and overstretching of the connective tissue which runs from the heel bone to the base of the toes. When people overpronate (or turn their feet toward the midline), wear poorly supporting shoes or simply overuse their feet through running or other physical activity, the plantar fascia becomes irritated and painful, particularly where it's attached to the heel. Many individuals with this condition also have bony heel spurs.
- Achilles tendonitis is an inflammatory condition, too. It affects the stiff tendon between the calf muscle and the heel and usually comes from overuse, particularly when people increase their level of exercise too quickly, says the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
- Plantar warts are hard, bumpy, benign growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). While not a devastating condition, these contagious warts need treatment to resolve completely.
- Arthritis and bursitis happen in the retrocalcaneal bursa, a fluid-filled sac at the base of the Achilles tendon. Vigorous exercise, overuse and obesity lead to this problem as can poorly supportive and ill-fitting footwear.
Your treatment plan
It depends on your diagnosis, but for all of the above conditions, surgical intervention is a last resort. Common sense changes in how much and how often you exercise and what kind of shoes you wear often relieve heel pain quite successfully. Customized orthotics, or shoe inserts, help with gait problems such as overpronation. Stretching and sufficient warm-up before working out help, too.
Regarding warts, your podiatrist may remove them with salicylic acid, cryotherapy (freezing) or with a scalpel and local aesthetic. Prevention, of course, is the best way to treat warts; so be sure to wear shower sandals at the gym or poolside, and avoid going barefoot outdoors. Warts are extremely contagious and may spread among family members sharing the same bathroom, pedicure tools or towels.
Achieve this great goal with the help of Dr. Ranieri at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA. Call (703) 491-2603.