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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
December 11, 2015
Tags: Heel pain  

We take our heels for granted—until they start to hurt. With climbing ladders to string lights, waiting on long lines at the stores and then carrying heavy packages home, heel pain that might have seemed small and just a minor annoyance may be developing into a major problem. Getting at the source of the pain and then treating and taking steps to prevent it will make your holiday season more enjoyable.

Why is My Heel Hurting?

At Philip S. Pinsker, the answer to this question starts with an examination of your heel, foot, and ankle and a complete medical history. Our board certified podiatrist, Philip S. Pinsker, D.P.M., will want to know when you first started feeling the pain in your heel and what conditions seem to make it worse or better. Imaging studies, such as digital x-rays (which can be done right in our Washington, PA office) will help give a more complete picture and aid in prompt and accurate diagnosis. Possible causes of heel pain include:

Plantar Fasciitis—This is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia—the long band of connective tissue that runs from your toes to your heel—gets inflamed. Many times people who have overly high arches or flat feet develop this disorder. It is characterized by sharp pains in the heel and arch that are usually worse first thing in the morning.

Heel Spur—Often accompanying plantar fasciitis, a heel spur is a calcium deposit that forms on the back of the heel. Walking and standing put pressure on the spur and cause pain and discomfort.

Haglund’s Deformity—A large bony protrusion on the back of the heel is the telltale sign of this condition. Sometimes referred to as “pump bump,” it is often caused and aggravated by rigid-backed shoes (like ladies pumps) that rub at the spot where the bump forms, causing swelling, redness, and irritation.

Heel Fissure—This is especially a problem in the winter when dry skin is prevalent. A tiny crack in the skin of the heel can turn into a big pain if not treated. As the fissure grows, the skin splits and bleeds, and becomes very painful to walk on. Fissures can also lead to an infection.

Preventing Heel Pain

You don’t have to live with heel pain. There are steps you can take to get relief: wear properly fitted shoes that support your feet without rubbing or irritating the heel, rest your feet when they hurt, exercise your feet by stretching and flexing frequently (see our video for suggestions), and make an appointment by calling our office at (724) 225-7410 to have the pain evaluated. Early treatment can bring relief and prevent conditions from worsening and causing long term disability in the future.

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