How Do Doctors Treat Heel Pain?


Quick Answer

Most treatments for heel pain involve rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, proper footwear and adequate padding on the heel, according to WebMD. In some cases surgery, splinting or casting, and physical therapy may be necessary.

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How Do Doctors Treat Heel Pain?
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Full Answer

Heel pain can be caused by a heel spur, stone bruise or a fracture of the calcaneus (heel) bone, explains WebMD. The most common cause is plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. Stretching, rest and shoes with cushioned soles may effectively treat plantar fasciitis.

Heel spurs cause pain when walking or standing, and they tend to be caused by poor posture, shoes without enough support or high impact activities, such as running, according to WebMD. Spurs are caused by an abnormal growth on the bottom of the heel, and they are sometimes treated with surgery. However, they are more often treated with cutout heel pads, shoe inserts, rest, physical therapy and shoes with shock absorbing soles.

Stone bruises and bone fractures are typically the result of high impact injuries, according to WebMD. A stone bruise impacts the fat pad of the heel, creating an uncomfortable sensation similar to walking on a pebble. Fractures to the calcaneus bone can be equivalent to a small crack or a severely shattered bone. Bruising, swelling and difficulty walking are the primary symptoms and can be treated by thoroughly padding the heel, using crutches, or by splinting or casting the foot. Pain relievers, surgery and physical therapy are other common methods of treating heel bone fractures.

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