Heel Pain Specialist

Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Normal, IL & Pontiac, IL

Research shows that about 6 in 10 Americans regularly experience heel pain. That’s more than half of the population. Without proper treatment, heel pain can cause more serious problems, including mobility issues. At Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic, with two convenient locations in Normal and Pontiac, Illinois, Craig Cortese, DPM, FACFAS, Steve Yeschek, DPM, and Carl Cortese, BS, DPM, FACFAS, diagnose and treat heel pain in people of all ages. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book a consultation online today.

Heel Pain Q & A

What is heel pain?

Heel pain refers to aching, stiffness, or general discomfort that affects the heel, the largest bone in your foot. Anyone can experience heel pain, but it’s especially common in athletes and other active individuals.

Heel pain varies in severity. If your pain is mild or moderate, it may respond to rest and over-the-counter medications. If your heel pain persists or gets worse, it may point to a more serious underlying health problem.

What causes heel pain?

Heel pain occurs for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Sprains and strains
  • Fractures
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Excessive pronation
  • Heel spurs
  • Haglund’s deformity
  • Bone bruises

Heel pain that affects children and teenagers usually occurs due to calcaneal apophysitis, or inflammation of the growth plate.

When should I visit a doctor regarding heel pain?

Most instances of heel pain respond to conservative treatments like ice, rest, and over-the-counter pain medication.

You should make an appointment at Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic if:

  • Your pain is severe
  • Your heel is red or warm to the touch
  • Pain occurs suddenly
  • You have a swollen heel

You should also make an appointment at Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic if your heel pain lasts for 2-3 weeks or it negatively affects your mobility.

How is heel pain diagnosed?

To diagnose heel pain, Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, and conducts a physical exam. During the physical, your provider gently presses on your heel and ankle, looking for signs of swelling, bruising, or tenderness.

Next, your provider has you sit down, stand up, and walk around the exam room. They also have you perform several range-of-motion exercises. If these measures don’t provide enough information, the team might also order an X-ray or MRI to observe the bones, joints, and soft tissues in your feet.

How is heel pain treated?

Treatment for heel pain depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your quality of life. The Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic team usually recommends conservative, integrative treatments.

If you have mild or moderate heel pain, you might benefit from anti-inflammatory medications, regular exercise, taping and strapping, or wearing more comfortable shoes.

If your heel pain is severe and interferes with your day-to-day life, you might benefit from custom orthotics, physical therapy, or MLS laser therapy. In rare cases, surgical intervention may be necessary, but only as a last resort.

To explore the various treatment options for heel pain, schedule an appointment at Cortese Foot & Ankle Clinic. Call the office or book a consultation online today.