Pain at the bottom of the foot can affect people of all ages and across all activity levels, so it is no surprise that pain in the heels and arches of the foot are the most common symptoms we treat in our offices. The arch of the foot performs many different functions, from absorbing shock to allowing patients to balance and stabilize their movements. As the arch is both flexible and weight-bearing, pressure that begins in the arches can cause pain throughout the foot as well as the ankles, knees, hips, legs, and back.
Heel and arch conditions can quickly progress to a point where walking, exercising, or simply standing can become too painful to bear, especially for patients whose pain worsens as the day goes on. Fortunately, our Maryland podiatrists and West Virginia foot specialists have a unique passion for feet and can perform interventions to relieve your discomfort in your first visit. Simply fill out our contact form today to put an end to heel and arch pain.
Common Causes of Heel and Arch Pain
People can suffer heel and arch discomfort for many different reasons, including excessive running, hereditary conditions, or ill-fitting shoes. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or in rare cases, a cyst. Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. The foot doctors at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry are well-trained to distinguish between all the possibilities, determining the likely sources of your heel pain to find the most effective treatment plan.
Our foot specialists have treated many causes of heel pain or arch pain, including:
- Plantar fasciitis. Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. People with plantar fasciitis usually have stabbing pains on the bottom of the heel that increase over a period of months and is typically most painful when they get up in the morning.
- Flat feet. One of the structural problems that may lead to arch pain is flat feet, sometimes known as fallen arches. Arches normally form in children’s feet when they are two or three years old, and a failure to develop normal arches in one foot or both feet can cause problems later in life. Flat feet can cause pain in the arches, lower legs, and ankles, and can combine with other risk factors such as obesity, overpronation, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus.
- Achilles tendinitis. The Achilles tendon is a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle of the leg. Increased physical activity can cause the tendon to become inflamed, causing pain, swelling, and tenderness along the back of the heel. People with Achilles tendinitis may have difficulty rising up on their toes, experience pain when stretching the tendon, and suffer decreased range of motion in the ankle.
- Sever’s disease. Sever’s disease occurs in growing children and adolescents and is a condition that causes pain in the growth plate in the heel. Growth plates are initially made of cartilage, but are replaced by solid bone as the child grows. In early puberty, bones often grow faster than muscles and tendons, and the foot is one of the first body parts to grow to full size. As a result, muscles and tendons in the foot become tight, making the heel area less flexible. During any weight-bearing activity (such as standing or walking), the tight tendons and ligaments put too much pressure on the Achilles tendon, resulting in pain and inflammation at the back of the heel.
We take a whole-body approach to treating every foot ailment. We offer free initial consultations in our Germantown and Silver Spring offices, allowing our patients to discover the root cause of the problem and get relief from pain as soon as possible. Fill out our contact form or call us at (301) 515-3338 and we will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your treatment options. For podiatry treatment for West Virginia residents, contact our Greenbrier podiatrists online or call (304) 520-3086.