Heel pain is one of the most common complaints that Dr. Queen Mbanuzue diagnoses and treats at In Step Podiatry in Bowie, Maryland. Commonly caused by conditions like plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, heel pain can strike men and women at any age. If you have heel pain that’s preventing you from enjoying and completing your favorite activities, call or schedule a consultation online today for expert diagnosis and treatment in a compassionate and caring environment.
A variety of conditions and injuries cause foot pain, and the most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot becomes irritated and inflamed. The symptoms manifest as a sharp, shooting pain in your heel that’s the worst first thing in the morning or after long periods of rest. The cause of this pain is usually tightness in your calf and Achilles tendon that pulls on the soft tissue under your foot.
Your Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel, allowing you to point and flex your foot. Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition caused by irritation and inflammation in your Achilles tendon, usually due to overuse. This condition causes pain and stiffness along the back of the ankle and in the heel.
Heel spurs are small, bony growths that develop on the bottom of the bone at the back of your foot and are often a complication of plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. These small growths cause pain when you put pressure on your heels by simply standing or walking.
A fracture in the bones at the back of your foot could also cause heel pain. Similarly, fractures in your ankles could cause inflammation and pain throughout your foot, including the heels.
Dr. Mbanuzue diagnoses foot pain by taking the time to perform a comprehensive exam. Expect her to ask questions about your pain, for example:
She also conducts a gentle and thorough examination of your feet, looking and feeling for any abnormalities. She may also ask that you walk around the office so she can observe your gait.
In some cases, Dr. Mbanuzue may order diagnostic imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI to identify the cause of your heel pain.
Once Dr. Mbanuzue diagnoses the cause of your heel pain, she offers customized treatment to relieve your pain and heal your foot condition. She may suggest you change your footwear or wear custom orthotics. She may also recommend you wear special slings or boots at night to keep your feet flexed — this prevents your Achilles from tightening.
Dr. Mbanuzue takes the time to teach you exercises and stretches to keep your feet, ankles, and calves supple. You may also benefit from corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation in your feet and ankles.
If you’re living with heel pain in the Washington, DC, Metro area, call the friendly staff at In Step Podiatry or schedule an appointment online today.