Sports Medicine: Heel Pain - When to Call a Doctor

Bay Area Foot & Laser Surgery Clinic -- Beach RunThe heel is one of those behind-the-scenes body parts we don’t think much about—until it’s injured. Home to the biggest bone in the foot, the heel absorbs a great deal of impact. When it becomes strained or inflamed, the simple act of walking can be incredibly painful—or even impossible.

Common Causes of Heel Pain
In most cases, heel pain comes on gradually, as a result of ongoing impact and pressure on the bone. Runners experience it most frequently, as the heel absorbs a whopping 2.75 times of our body weight during this activity. Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, heel bursitis, and stress fractures are some of the common heel injuries among athletes.
Heel pain can also be caused by arthritis, viruses, infections, autoimmune deficiencies, and neurological issues. In some cases, it’s triggered by environmental factors, such as wearing flat shoes that lack support or using improper posture while walking or running.
When to Call a Doctor
If your heel pain is mild or in the early stages, you may be able to treat it yourself with rest, ice, compression, massage, or supportive insoles. But if any of the following apply, you should contact a sports medicine doctor for diagnosis and treatment:
  • Your heel is severely painful or swollen, and the pain has lasted for several days or longer
  • Walking is extremely painful or impossible
  • You find yourself compensating for the pain by changing your gait or posture, which can lead to other injuries
  • You are unable to stand on your tiptoes or bend your foot in either direction
  • Your heel is painful even when you’re at rest
  • You are experiencing numbness or tingling in your heel
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact us to schedule an exam—and get on the path to pain-free living!

Click here or Call us now at 510-521-3410  ~ Dr. Jeffrey J Niccoli  Board-Certified, Alameda Family Podiatry Group. Serving  Bay Area patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, and Alameda


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