At Patrick Fettinger, DPM, one of the most frequent reasons patients come to our Fairfield County offices is to get relief from heel pain. This painful symptom can become quite debilitating. When every step you take hurts, it’s easy to see how heel trouble can prevent you from enjoying the active lifestyle you take for granted.
Tracking Down the Cause
The first step is finding out what is making your heel hurt. Our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick J. Fettinger, will examine your feet and also get a complete medical history. The foot doctor may also order imaging studies such as x-rays to get a clearer picture of your heel disorder. One of the primary sources of heel pain doesn’t even originate in the heel and that is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue located on the bottom of your foot between your heel and your toes. If the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it can lead to pressure and pain in the heel. Most often structural defects in your foot such as overly high arches, or overpronation are the source of plantar fasciitis. Other possible causes of heel pain include:
- Fat pad atrophy on the heel (a natural part of the aging process)
- Being overweight
- Stress fracture
- Nerve problem
Finding the underlying cause of your heel pain will in turn dictate the course of treatment.
There are several conservative methods available:
- Shoe modifications—particularly choosing styles with better arch support
- Stretching exercises
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medications and injection therapy
- Custom orthotics
For persistent cases of heel pain, we also offer Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT).
Continuing to walk on a heel that hurts will most likely result in worsening the injury. Contact our office in New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. Don’t suffer needlessly with heel pain.