Heel pain can make walking and standing very uncomfortable, but there are some exciting new approaches to treating heel pain. Experienced podiatrist Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, is an exceptionally well-qualified foot and ankle expert who provides the highest quality services in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. If you have heel pain, Dr. Isaacson and his team provide both tried and tested treatments and new, advanced therapies for conditions like plantar fasciitis. Call today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Heel Pain Q & A

What is heel pain?

Heel pain affects the sole of the back of your foot, sometimes spreading into the arch or up the heel into your ankle. There are several possible causes for heel pain, including:

  • Calluses
  • Fissures
  • Spurs
  • Plantar warts
  • Haglund’s deformity

However, the most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Running along the bottom of your foot is a piece of connective tissue known as the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia connects the base of your toes and the center and arch of your foot to your heel. It provides you with arch support as well as acting as a shock absorber.  

If your plantar fascia develops inflammation, it’s called plantar fasciitis. The inflammation is due to the plantar fascia experiencing excessive stress that causes the fibers to stretch and sometimes tear.

You’re more likely to develop plantar fasciitis if you’re between 40 and 60 years old, have high arches, stand on your feet for long periods, are overweight, or take part in sports and other activities that can overload the plantar fascia.

How is heel pain diagnosed?

Plantar fasciitis causes quite distinctive symptoms that can help Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, to make a diagnosis.

With plantar fasciitis, the pain in your heel is likely to be worse when you first get up in the morning, or after you’ve been sitting or standing for a long time. The pain fades as you first get moving, but returns if you keep going.

To confirm the diagnosis, or find the cause if you don’t have plantar fasciitis, you might need X-rays or an MRI scan of your feet.

How is heel pain treated?

For most patients, appropriate noninvasive treatments resolve the pain of plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain.

You should rest the affected heel and apply ice packs to ease the inflammation. The Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, team can show you how to exercise your foot to help heal and strengthen the plantar fascia. Athletic tape can also help support the plantar fascia when applied correctly.

Wearing night splints and custom-fitted arch supports or orthotics can take the pressure off the plantar fascia, and you should wear shoes that support your feet correctly and have a sensible heel height. Flat shoes like ballet pumps can be just as bad for your feet if you have heel pain as wearing too high a heel.

If these approaches aren’t helping to reduce heel pain, Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, can discuss other options with you, such as:

  • Steroid injections
  • Tenex procedure
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
  • Plantar fascia release surgery

The sooner you begin treatment for heel pain, the more likely you are to recover fully, so call Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, today or book an appointment online.