According to current research, heel pain affects around two million people per year. With locations in Kingston, New Windsor, Wappingers Falls, Hudson, and West Coxsackie, New York, the board-certified podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons at Hudson Valley Foot Associates care for all types of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Achilles tendonitis are just a few types of heel pain the practice treats with innovative therapies, including extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) and cryosurgery. Call or schedule an appointment online to learn more.
The heel endures pressure each time you take a step. While the bone itself can become bruised or damaged, pain typically develops in the tissues that support the heel. The most common causes of heel pain include:
The most common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis, causes inflammation in the tissue that stretches from the toes to the heel. You may experience a sore, stabbing pain in your heel that also affects the arch of your foot. Repetitive stress from running, carrying excess weight, or improper conditioning can lead to plantar fasciitis.
Heel spurs are bony growths that develop on the heel. They’re prevalent among individuals who have plantar fasciitis.
The Achilles tendon stretches from the calf to the heel. It’s the longest tendon in the human body. Any damage to the Achilles tendon can lead to chronic pain that reduces your mobility. A ruptured tendon can cause severe pain that requires surgery.
A stone bruise can occur if you step on a hard object that damages the fat pad beneath your feet. Each step you take may feel sore and uncomfortable.
Diagnosing heel pain is a complex process. First, your doctor at Hudson Valley Foot Associates examines your foot and asks questions regarding your symptoms. They may also assess your gait when you stand and walk. Finally, your doctor may order imaging scans, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT).
Treatments for heel pain may include:
ESWT is a noninvasive treatment that involves delivering shock waves into the soft tissues around your heel. The procedure stimulates blood flow to the heel to help repair damage and reduce inflammation.
RPT is a noninvasive procedure in which low-energy waves trigger the body’s natural healing response to repair soft tissue damage.
Custom-made orthotics are shoe inserts that cushion and support the feet. Orthotics can help correct mechanical imbalances in the feet to relieve heel pain.
Taping and strapping your heel can help alleviate pain from plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and other soft tissue conditions.
Injecting anti-inflammatory medications and pain-relieving anesthetics can help stimulate healing in the soft tissues that support your heel.
Cryosurgery destroys nerve fibers without damaging the entire nerve. The procedure can help relieve chronic heel pain.
Surgery is sometimes necessary to repair damage from heel pain. To learn more, call Hudson Valley Foot Associates or schedule an appointment online to learn more.