For most people, heel pain is only a temporary setback. After a few weeks to a few months of simple home care, you’re back on your feet, symptom free.
But that’s most people. Not all. For some people, heel pain can be a much more stubborn obstacle.
And if you happen to find yourself in that situation, you know how frustrating it can be—especially if you’re following all the advice you can find on the Internet or from friends and family and still aren’t seeing any lasting results.
Fortunately, all hope is not lost.
While sometimes heel pain can be extremely tricky to solve on your own, that does not mean your situation is unsolvable. It does mean, however, that you should give Freeland Foot & Ankle Clinic a call. We’ll help you identify the true causes of (and solutions for) your heel pain to finally get you the relief you deserve.
Common Reasons that Heel Pain Persists
The truth is, we can’t tell you just in a blog post precisely why your heel pain won’t go away. We really need to examine your feet first. That said, there are several factors that tend to show up frequently in cases of stubborn heel pain.
Do you recognize any of the situations below? One or more may be contributing to your condition:
- Your shoes need to be replaced. Shoes that don’t fit, don’t provide enough arch support or heel cushioning, or have simply worn out their support may not adequately protect your heels from irritation.
- You’re not giving your heels the rest they need. Rest is an essential component of treatment for almost every case of chronic pain. If you play sports, have active hobbies, or stand and work on your feet, your heels may never get a long enough break to recover. Try taking a break from high-impact hobbies for at least a few weeks, and consider workplace or home modifications (anti-fatigue mats, a stool at your workstation, more regular breaks, etc.) to reduce the load on your heels.
- You’re overweight. If you are overweight or obese, getting down to a healthier body weight can significantly lighten the load on your heels. You might be surprised at how much losing just 15-20 pounds can improve the situation.
- Your feet have structural issues. Unfortunately, due to either genetics or acquired deformity, some people may simply be prone to developing chronic heel pain. For example, if you have flat feet or high arches, you may fall into this category.
- You aren’t following through with a previous treatment plan. Treating the most stubborn cases of heel pain can require discipline, including following your doctor’s advice on stretching, footwear choice, training choices, and more. But it’s human nature to slip back into bad habits over time—especially if the situation initially seems to be improving.
This is, of course, not a complete list. Your heel pain might be related to something else entirely—for example, a bone spur pressing on a nerve. That’s why it’s so important to get a diagnosis and treatment plan from an expert like Dr. Dailey if your heel pain isn’t responding to your home care.
There’s No Single Solution for All Cases of Heel Pain
This is the heart of the matter in most cases.
Heel pain is an extremely common symptom, but (as you can see above) there are a multitude of possible contributing factors. And even beyond that, these factors can lead to different specific injuries—for example, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, stress fractures, pinched nerves, and more.
So even if your heel pain feels the same as someone else’s, the underlying nature of your injuries might be quite different. That often means treatment techniques that work for one person might not work so well for another.
If you’d like more information about common heel pain causes and treatments, Dr. Dailey wrote a FREE online guide, “Free Yourself from Heel Pain: A Guide to Understanding Its Causes and Treatments.” Just click here for more info on the book and to request your free copy.
Finding the Solution that Works for YOU
Fortunately, at Freeland Foot & Ankle we have the training, the experience, and the advanced tools necessary to combat virtually all forms of heel pain successfully—and almost always non-surgically, too.
It starts with a complete evaluation of your feet and ankles, and a detailed discussion with you about your symptoms—when they started, when they’re the strongest, and how you’ve already tried to manage them.
From there, we will build out a personalized treatment plan designed to provide swift and lasting relief from your heel pain, based on the specific needs of your situation. This may include techniques such as:
- A cortisone injection to provide strong, fast-acting symptom relief which may last up to several months.
- A specific stretching program focusing on the areas of your body (calves, arches, etc.) that are contributing to your heel pain.
- Custom orthotics to provide extra cushioning and support, as well as accommodate or adjust any biomechanical problems (flat feet, high arches, overpronation) that make you more susceptible to heel pain.
- Advanced treatments like laser or shockwave to stimulate more rapid tissue healing.
So you see, all hope is not lost! Even if you have been suffering from heel pain for a long time, there’s a great chance we can have you back on your feet in just a few months. You just have to reach out! Call our office in Freeland, MI at (989) 695-6788, or contact us online.