Don't Be Dismissive of Your Heel Pain: Things to Consider
Heel pain can be an annoyance, and in extreme cases it can even be debilitating. It's not something you should have to live with, although in many cases it can be attributed to a particular incident, meaning that the discomfort will subside as the area heals itself. There can be a number of reasons for heel pain, and if your pain seems to be ongoing or returns periodically, you should see a doctor or podiatrist.
Things to Consider
Your doctor or podiatrist will require certain information to make an accurate diagnosis.
- Have you injured the area? This might be the cause of the pain, and yet if the area is not healing itself, the injury might be more severe than you're aware of.
- Is your heel pain more intensive at certain times of the day (particularly in the morning)? This can be a sign of plantar fasciitis—an inflammation of the tissues that run along your heels and the base of your feet.
- Do you have diabetes? This can result in peripheral neuropathy, wherein your diabetes has resulted in decreased sensitivity in your extremities (namely your hands and feet) which feels like numbness or discomfort.
- Do you wear certain shoes for extended periods of time for certain activities? This can be wearing improper shoes for specific sporting activities, or even the prolonged wearing of high heeled shoes in some cases.
This list is not exhaustive, and all forms of ongoing or recurring heel pain should be assessed by a medical professional.
Obviously, the best form of treatment will depend on the cause of your heel pain. There are a number of treatment options than can be appropriate regardless of the cause, and you might wish to try some of these options if you are not able to see a medical professional in a timely fashion. You might wish to try wearing gel inserts in your shoes to cushion your heel. A podiatrist might end up suggesting custom made orthotic inserts as a more permanent solution. Over the counter anti-inflammatory medication can be beneficial, although you should not have to rely on this on an ongoing basis. And of course, don't be afraid to rest your feet! A medical professional will be able to give you a number of non-surgical options to relieve your heel pain, although in cases of extreme cases of plantar fasciitis and comparable conditions (such as heel bursitis or achilles tendonitis) minor surgery is also an option.
It's important not to be dismissive of heel pain, although it's important to remember that there are a number of treatment options.