Dr Brandon Nelson, A Board Certified Physician & Surgeon, Discuss Heel Pain and When to See A Physician

Dr Brandon Nelson, A Board Certified Physician & Surgeon, Discuss Heel Pain and When to See A Physician

Achilles Tendon

Heel pain
is by far the most common pathology I see in the office.  It is so common among adults it is estimated that 1 out of every 4 currently are experiencing heel pain.  It is also postulated that 60% of all adults will have heel pain at some point in their lives.  It is important to understand the causes of heel pain and when to seek professional help.  The most common causes are plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon issues and nerve entrapments or irritation.

Plantar fasciitis is by far the most common cause.  It often is described as a dull ache or bruised sensation.  This is usually on the bottom of the heel.  Plantar fasciitis can be painful in the morning, first step pain, or after activities.  One of the most common presenting symptoms is pain after any period of rest.  Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury and I recommend always seeking physician input on this one as you may develop tearing in the fascia with increased symptoms.

Achilles tendon issues can also present with pain in the heel or around the heel.  The Achilles tendon is the thickest strongest tendon in the human body and it is constantly under load.  It is therefore prone to developing issues especially in physically active individuals.  The Achilles tendon type pathologies often have swelling or sharp shooting pains near the heel.  Again this is one to seek help early as the average recovery of Achilles tendon issues can take 4-6 months. 

Nerve entrapments of the heel or Baxter’s neuritis or tarsal tunnel syndrome often have burning or electrical type symptoms.  There is a correlation with other nerve issues in the body like neuropathy or carpal tunnel or fibromyalgia.  Nerve issues are an urgent matter and early intervention is key so do not wait on these ones.  I recommend immediately making an appointment.  The nerves usually require testing to identify and prevent long term damage. 

If you are having heel pain I can help call and schedule an appointment today. Give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online

Sincerely,

Dr. Brandon Nelson  

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