If you have noticed that your heels are hurting while standing or walking for long periods of time, you may have one of many medical conditions that contribute to this type of pain. While plantar fasciitis is often the cause of heel pain, there can also be other causes. Here is more information about heel pain and what you can do about it.
There Are Multiple Causes
Plantar fasciitis is the most common condition that leads to heel pain. This condition is a type of inflammation that affects the thick band goes from the heel to the toes. When there is inflammation, it can cause acute pain. This condition, when untreated, can also lead to chronic heel pain. There are also some other conditions that might be causing the heel pain, such as heel spurs or achilles tendinitis. Heel spurs occur on the bottom of the heel bone, causing more pain while standing on the heels. If physical activity leads you to overuse the Achilles tendon, then you might be dealing with Achilles tendinitis.
Some Cases Require a Visit to the Podiatrist
While in many cases, you can simply use home treatment options for heel pain, you may need to visit your doctor. You should make an appointment with a doctor or podiatrist if the pain continues even when you aren't walking or if it lasts for a long period of time without any relief. Emergency care might be needed if you also have a fever in addition to the heel pain, experience tingling and numbness in the foot or the heel pain has occurred after an injury. Seek emergency attention if there is pain and swelling visible near the heel.
Common Treatments Are Done at Home
If you aren't experiencing these symptoms, you can start by treating the heel pain at home. Rest is very important with this type of pain, since it is often worsened with the pressure from standing or walking. To reduce swelling and inflammation, apply ice packs to the heels. Gentle exercises and stretches are a good idea, but don't do anything strenuous until you have spoken to a doctor. You can also take anti-inflammatory pain relief medications for the pain and inflammation.
Surgery Might be Needed
While usually only recommended in the severe cases, you may need to get surgery treatment for the heel pain. Surgery depends on the cause or medical condition leading to the pain, such as plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. You should try other treatments first before resorting to surgery.