Millions of Americans suffer with heel pain each year. According to recent reports, almost 75% of people in the US will suffer with pain in their heel at some time in their lives. For some, it may occur at night or while resting, while others may experience constant heel pain. In fact, walking may become difficult on the affected heel. It is important to note whether there is swelling or discoloration of the back of the foot, or if there is redness or warmth of the heel – which may be a sign of an infection. If you are experiencing symptoms, it is important to seek an evaluation and determine if heel pain treatment is needed.
What causes heel pain?
Perhaps you find it difficult to participate in certain sports – tennis, golf or skiing, take leisurely walks with friends or family members, or be productive at work (teaching, bus driver, hair stylist, dancer, etc.). If almost every step you take hurts… it is time to determine what causes heel pain for you.
At The AIMS Clinic, our Healthcare Team detects the factors or causes of heel pain. Often these are broken down into the following categories:
- Overload or increase of physical activity and/or exercise – including repetitive motion, ground surfaces, etc.
- Faulty foot structure (flat feet, high-arched foot, flattened arch), tight leg or foot muscles, poor posture and/or abnormal gait.
- Injuries caused by a fall (heel bursitis), stepping on something hard, etc.
- Excessive or additional weight – including during pregnancy.
- Health conditions – Arthritis, Diabetes, or inflammation or swelling due to a cold, fever or infection.
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Improper, poorly-fitted or poorly-supportive footwear (high heels).
- Inactivity or sedentary lifestyle.
- Poor diet, hormonal imbalance or vitamin deficiencies.
- Heel-fat pad may shrink with age.
Diagnosing Heel Pain
Whether it is sharp, throbbing, aching or stabbing pain… a correct diagnosis is vital. Prevent your heel pain from worsening and traveling to other parts of the foot and/or leg by speaking with a member of our Healthcare Team and scheduling a Free Consultation.
A diagnosis begins with a thorough health history, consultation, physical examination and evaluation. Weight bearing x-rays may be recommended to rule out a fracture or bone spur. The Doctors and Therapists of The AIMS Clinic offer testing conducted by our Physical Therapists, Podiatrist, Chiropractors, Medical Doctors, Acupuncturist and Nutritionist. Having a Team of Experts allows for physical, structural, chemical and emotional factors to be identified and corrected.
Once our Team completes their findings, you will sit down with our Clinic Director and discuss what causes heel pain for you! Then, a customized treatment program will be created to provide foot pain relief. The good news is most people who suffer with heel pain, can eliminate their pain without drugs or surgery.
Multiple Therapies to Expedite Foot Pain Relief!
When seeking care for pain, patients are able to integrate various treatment options to quickly reduce or eliminate their symptoms. Some patients require one form of treatment and others benefit with a combination of treatments for foot pain relief. We pride ourselves on motivating, supporting and celebrating patients as they reach their goals.
Physical Therapy: The AIMS Clinic Physical Therapists will complete their evaluation and then create a heel pain treatment program to relieve pain, restore function and movement, and improve body mechanics. This is accomplished by incorporating stretching and strengthening exercises, along with various treatment options – ultrasound, electric stimulation, taping and massage. In addition, home exercises are provided. If necessitated, taping and assistive devices are offered.
Podiatry: For those not born with, “perfect feet” additional care to properly support and maintain the shape of the foot is provided by our “King” of Podiatry! Custom orthotic devices by Dr. King (to fit dress or athletic shoes) can help to correct structural abnormalities. The result – posture improves, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy and acupuncture treatments are enhanced.
Chiropractic: There are various diagnostic tools our Chiropractors utilize to detect the cause of heel pain. This includes a visual examination of the heel, foot, knees, pelvis, hips and lower spine to detect structural imbalances necessitating correction. Observation of the body in motion is also important when developing treatment techniques and strategies. These include soft tissue techniques, physical manipulation, massage, heat therapy, cold therapy and TENS unit.
Acupuncture: Many patients seeking heel pain treatment include Acupuncture which focuses on deactivating local tender spots. Acupuncture helps to reduce pain and increase an overall feeling of well-being.
Nutrition: Proper nutrition, hydration and supplementation are vital for recovery. Work together with our Certified Nutrition Specialist to avoid certain foods that increase inflammation – refined grains, sugar, trans-fats often found in junk food, etc. In addition, together with our Medical Director – chronic allergies can be identified, which can also cause inflammation. If you need to reach a healthy weight, a customized weight loss program can be created.
Lifestyle Recommendations: Activities at home and/or work that result in pain or discomfort must be changed or modified. When you sit down with our Team, components of your daily activities will be discussed and recommendation will be provided.
Once the causes of heel pain are corrected and a patient returns to normal activities, it is important to continue with a healthy diet and nutritional support, maintain a healthy weight, include exercise most days, wear supportive and properly fitting footwear, and ensure spinal health with a monthly maintenance program of Chiropractic care. If you are seeking foot pain relief, speak with a member of our Healthcare Team today at 732-254-5553.
To read more about heel pain, click here.