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5 Reasons Your Heel Pain Isn't Going Away

Woman with heel pain from shoe

If you are like so many other Americans, you have a nagging heel pain that will not leave. You have google searched home remedies and none of them seem to be ending the pain. You begin to wonder if pain is a part of your life that you need to accept. Neuhaus Foot and Ankle sheds light on the subject with 5 reasons why your heel pain is not going away.

1.You need a proper medical diagnosis

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis). Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. If you dread getting out of bed in the morning because those first few steps throb, you may have it.  Pain after exercise rather than during it is a sure sign. If it feels like you’re stepping on needles when rising after sitting for hours, you may have it. It is estimated, 7-10% of the U.S. population has plantar fasciitis at any given time. Many probably don’t know what is causing the pain. Not being aware of the problem can lead to bigger problems that can affect daily activities such as walking, running, and even standing.

One problem of attempting to self-diagnosis your pain is the likelihood of being wrong. For example, after reading the symptoms of plantar fasciitis you may believe that is what is causing your pain. Trying to treat it without a medical diagnosis can lead to wasted time and money on products that do not fix the problem.  

While a common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis is not the only cause. Consider any recent activity that could have caused trauma to your heel. A bone fracture from a trip or fall can be misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis without further examination.  It’s important that your podiatrist rule out other potential causes. Bone growth in an abnormal manner, could be causing your pain. Irritation of the growth plate is common and painful, among kids and teenagers whose bodies are going through rapid changes. This could be another cause of your heel pain. Only a medical expert will be able to narrow down why your pain is occuring.

2. Your treatments are too conservative

If surgery is the most aggressive, then the opposite would be at-home remedies. These are simple treatments you can find with a quick google search. Google, “how to get rid of heel pain,” and you may find yourself down a rabbit hole of various treatments. Hopefully, you’ve at least come across some sound advice, like stretching your calves, icing after activity, and changing out your shoes.  For those with mild cases of plantar fasciitis, these options can potential relieve your pain and effectively treat the condition. However, if you’re reading this and still experiencing heel pain in the morning or throughout the day, you’re likely dealing with a more serious case of plantar fasciitis, and need something more than a home remedy.

Treatments podiatrists provide that aren’t as aggressive as surgery are: cortisone injections, shockwave therapies, custom orthotics, and night splints. Though rare, surgery is an option of last resort, but only after all other treatments have proved ineffective. A podiatrist can help you determine what treatment is best for you.

3. You’re not following your podiatrist-prescribed treatment plan

We all have been there and done that! The dentist says floss daily? More like floss the week before and after your visit. The physical therapist says do these stretches at home? You do them the first day, but then life gets busy and you forget! It happens to us all.

If you do not do what the doctors tells you, the doctor can not help you. If your pain is not going away, ask yourself “Have I done what the doctor told me to do?”

Do you remember your treatment plan poll here

4. You’re still wearing low-quality insoles

Not all shoe inserts are created equal. A custom orthotic from your podiatrist is the best option to not only relieve pain, but to correct one of the biggest underlying causes of plantar fasciitis. Low quality insoles, typically sold at your local pharmacy or big box store, are constructed with cheap “memory foam” materials. These insoles give you the feeling of comfort and cushion, temporarily relieving pain, but they don’t provide the long term support. Quickly, leaving your feet cushionless and unsupported once again.

5.You believe you are stuck with it forever

Heel pain isn’t permanent and should never get to the point where you have to stop doing what you love. If you feel you’ve tried everything, don’t despair. Hunter dealt with plantar fasciitis for nearly 15 years. He thought he tried everything, then he decided to visit Neuhaus Foot & Ankle. Read his story here.

Hunter is not alone. We see patients like him everyday. They bring in orthotics from the Good Feet Store or tell us about how they’ve dealt with pain for years. There is no reason for you to live with pain. Talk to a podiatrist and trust that they can help you live a happy, healthy, and pain free life.

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