Got Lingering Heel Pain? It Could Worse Than You Think

Only an ultrasound can accurately diagnose the cause of your heel painAccording to the NIH, about 10% of people will experience heel pain at some point in there lives. In my Houston podiatry office, a good chunk of patients with persistent heel pain have plantar fasciitis—an inflammation of the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes.

With proper treatment, the pain of plantar fasciitis should resolve; the healing process may be slow, but the problem does eventually improve or go away completely. But for some patients, their heel pain is not reflective of plantar fasciitis—it can be the symptom of a far more serious problem.

According to Dr. Rick Positano, who recently led a study on heel pain, after looking at the feet of 175 people who had been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, 34% of those people actually had a torn ligament, while 15% had a type of benign growth known as a plantar fibroma. While none of the conditions are life threatening, they should each be treated very differently. In fact, a wrong treatment could actually make some of the conditions worse (For example, doing plantar fasciitis stretches on a torn ligament will only exacerbate the injury.)

The only way to definitively reveal the cause of your heel pain is with a diagnostic ultrasound, which can only be performed at your doctor’s office. If you have been struggling with persistent heel pain and want to get a proper diagnosis for your injury, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.