The largest of the 26 bones in your foot is the heel bone. It has a network of more than a hundred ligaments, muscles, and tendons, in addition to 33 joints. Like all bones in your body, it is subject to various influences that can affect its operation or integrity. Specific injuries or problems, such as heel pain, can make it difficult for you to stay on your feet.
Also called plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome, heel pain is a condition caused by various factors, such as nerve irritation, stress fracture, arthritis, tendonitis, or a cyst.
Since so many factors can cause heel pain, it is essential to have a doctor diagnose it correctly. A foot and ankle surgeon will examine your heel and determine the underlying sources of the pain you are experiencing.
Simply put, heel pain is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is the band of tissue extending from the toes to the heel. In addition to the inflammation, it causes irritation, which results in pain.
This condition has many different causes. Generally, however, it is due to faulty biometrics that places excessive stress on your heel and the soft tissues attached to it. This stress may stem from a bruise or injury incurred while running, walking, or jumping on a hard surface. It can also result from being overweight or wearing poorly made footwear.
This is a medical professional specializing in helping people suffering from conditions that affect their lower legs and feet. In addition to treating foot injuries, podiatrists can treat ongoing health conditions such as diabetes. You might hear other people calling them doctors of podiatric medicine or podiatric physicians.
The first thing you need to understand is that podiatrists do not go to traditional medical schools. Instead, they have their own professional associations and schools. Instead of having “MD” after their names, they have “DPM.” Nevertheless, they can prescribe medications, reset broken bones, order X-rays or lab tests, and even do surgery.
Most people who start to experience heel pain try resting to ease the pain. If the pain persists, however, you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor or a podiatrist. This is especially important if you notice swelling and/or redness in your heel, start to feel severe pain or are unable to walk due to the pain.
A podiatrist will examine your heel and may even perform an X-ray to rule out bone problems. Treatment might involve injectable or oral anti-inflammatory medication, strapping or taping, shoe recommendations, exercise, or orthotic devices. He may also recommend physical therapy in conjunction with any of these options.
To learn more about how a podiatrist can help with heel pain, visit Podiatrist On Call at our office in Jacksonville, Florida. You can also call us today at (904) 707-8769 to schedule an appointment.