Should I Go to the Doctor for Heel Pain?

Heel pain can happen to anyone at any time and occasionally you might experience pain one day and be fine the next. This can leave you wondering if you should see a doctor or if you should let it resolve itself. In short, if you’re in pain, you should see your doctor.

Common Causes of Heel Pain

The anatomy of the foot and ankle is quite complex which means there can be many causes for heel pain. The two most common causes are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the tight tissue at the bottom of your foot that forms the arch. This tissue connects your heel to your toes. If inflamed, it can cause pain. Achilles tendonitis, on the other hand, refers to inflammation of the Achilles tendon which is a thick, chord-like, tissue that connects your heel and calf muscle. This typically develops due to overuse in athletes like basketball and tennis players. Rarely, this tendon will rupture.

Other Causes of Heel Pain

There are other less common causes that also require special attention from a doctor. These can include tarsal tunnel syndrome, which is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome people get in their hands and wrists. Stress fractures from repeated stress on the heel bone can also cause this pain. Sometimes heel pad bruising or fat pad atrophy can also cause pain in your heel and something as simple as changing your shoes can help treat your pain. Other causes are bone spurs, bursitis, and bone infections.

When should I see a doctor?

If you’re not experiencing severe pain, but your pain persists with at-home treatment, you should schedule an office visit. You should see a doctor immediately if you have severe pain, you have sustained an injury to the area, you experience numbness and tingling, you can’t walk or move your foot normally, or if you have any of these symptoms coupled with a fever.

Dr. Gregg A. Koldenhoven at Front Range Orthopedics & Spine has extensive training in routine and advanced reconstructive techniques of the foot and ankle. He is also well trained in general care for foot and ankle disorders. If you or a loved one is experiencing heel pain, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. Give us a call at 303.772.1600 or fill out an appointment request on our website.

Back to Blog