The heel is an integral part of the foot, supporting the legs and spine and keeping your gait smooth and unhindered. Treating conditions that cause heel pain or damage is crucial to whole body health, so if you are experiencing symptoms of any of the problems below, call your podiatrist right away to schedule an appointment.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
If you hear a pop or snap followed by a stabbing pain behind your ankle and ongoing swelling and weakness in the area, you need to be evaluated for this condition as soon as possible. Thankfully, surgical procedures to repair a ruptured tendon have advanced to the point where repair is an easy process with a high success rate.
Though a variety of factors can cause this issue, it’s most commonly attributed to drying or stressing of the skin, such as increased weight gain or frequent wearing of open-backed or heel-irritating shoes. Your podiatrist can suggest effective creams to combat this problem and inform you if further diagnosis is needed.
The heel is a dual-layered bone, and it is possible to fracture it through an injury. If you have had an accident that affected your heel, such as falling from a ladder or striking the floorboard during a vehicle collision, see a podiatrist immediately, as this type of heel condition gets worse the longer it is untreated.
“Pump Bump” or Haglund’s Deformity
Patients that frequently wear rigid-backed shoes, such as pumps or dress shoes, may experience a tenderness and swelling on the back of the heel. This bump will usually be tangible and persistent, though it will become more noticeable when it is inflamed after, for instance, a day in the shoes responsible for forming it. Your foot doctor will be able to make recommendations for orthotics, heel cups or other inserts that will relieve this foot condition.
Found in about 10% of the total population, this foot problem occurs due to irritation of a band of tissue that runs through the underside of the foot, heel to toes. Overweight patients and those that spend a great deal of time on their feet are the most common sufferers, and experience other symptoms, such as lack of upward foot flex capability and knee pain, as a result. Your podiatrist can recommend a course of treatment, ranging from inserts to physical therapy to surgery, depending on the severity of your case.