Your heel takes a lot of wear-and-tear. You use this part of your foot every day, and it has to bear up under your whole body weight. That’s not even considering athletic activity, high heels, and other forms of pressure you may put on your feet.
So, it’s no surprise that heel pain is a common complaint among adults in the United States. At his self-named podiatry practice, Dr. Leonard Greenwald provides foot and ankle care for new and existing patients from around the San Jose, California, area.
Dr. Greenwald can diagnose the cause of your heel pain and recommend the right treatment plan for your unique foot care needs. However, how do you know when your heel pain merits a trip to see Dr. Greenwald?
Here are some rules of thumb. But, in general, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Greenwald for all your foot care and foot pain needs!
Collecting information about your heel pain
Heel pain may arise from many causes. You can gather important information by observing your symptoms more closely. This might help you make more accurate guesses about the likely cause of your heel pain, which in turn can guide your decision about when to seek professional podiatry care and support.
Where, when, and how do your heel pain symptoms present? You might notice that your pain is worse at some times of the day, like when you first wake up in the morning or when you stand to walk after sitting for an extended time.
Heel pain can be shooting, stabbing, or burning. Your pain might be more constant, or it could come and go with flare-ups. The exact type of pain you feel and the location where you feel it can give you and Dr. Greenwald important clues about your underlying problem.
If you feel pain behind your heel, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with Achilles tendon problems. Pain in your heel typically indicates bruising or inflammation to your sole and can be a sign that you have plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain, or related bone spurs.
When to seek treatment for your heel pain
If your heel pain isn’t too severe, you can start conservative self-care measures at home and see if your problem goes away without professional care. However, if you have an underlying injury, you may need more intensive treatment to restore the integrity and strength of your foot and ankle.
Rest typically helps with many types of heel pain, so that’s a good place to start. See if your condition improves after a few days to a week of rest.
However, if your heel pain doesn’t improve after two weeks of at-home care and rest, or if you experience severe heel pain that comes on all at once or prevents you from walking, it’s time to get in touch with Dr. Greenwald for an exam and treatment. You should also seek care if you notice redness or swelling in or around your heel.
After diagnosing the cause of your heel pain, Dr. Greenwald recommends treatments and therapies to give you lasting relief. You may need physical therapy, or you may benefit from custom orthotics. Most cases of heel pain resolve without the need for surgery.
When you have severe, sudden heel pain, swelling or redness, or symptoms that don’t improve after two weeks, contact Dr. Greenwald for treatment. You can schedule your appointment over the phone or use our online scheduling tool to book your visit.