Heel pain is one of the most common complaints we encounter at our practice. For many, it can start as a minor discomfort and is easily dismissed as a fleeting issue. But over time, heel pain may cross the line from a temporary inconvenience to signal a more significant underlying problem.
Ijeoma C Nwuju, DPM, and the dedicated podiatry team at the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center in Washington, DC, can provide clarity if you've ever wondered whether your heel pain warrants professional treatment.
5 signs it’s time to schedule an appointment for heel pain
Heel pain can interfere with your ability to complete daily tasks and move comfortably. When you experience pain, you could become sedentary, which leads to weight gain and other health complications.
Here are five signs your heel pain needs treatment:
1. Persistent pain
If your heel pain persists for several days despite home remedies like rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers, it’s time to call the office. Persistent pain can indicate conditions like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or Achilles tendinitis.
2. Swelling or discoloration
Swelling around the heel, especially if accompanied by discoloration (like redness or bruising), is a sign of inflammation or possible injury. Schedule an appointment if you notice these symptoms, as they could indicate more severe problems like a bone fracture or a torn ligament.
3. Difficulty walking or bearing weight
If heel pain is so intense that it interferes with your ability to walk, stand, or bear weight on the affected foot, it's a clear sign you need a medical evaluation.
4. Pain when you wake up
Feeling heel pain when you step out of bed can indicate plantar fasciitis. This condition involves inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Early morning pain should be a red flag to get it checked.
5. Numbness or tingling
While heel pain is common, numbness or tingling sensations are not typical and may indicate a problem with the nerves in your feet and ankles. Conditions like tarsal tunnel syndrome, where a nerve in the ankle becomes pinched, can manifest as tingling or numbness in the heel and require timely medical intervention.
How we treat heel pain
Heel pain often improves with nonsurgical treatments and home remedies, Our experienced podiatrists can show you stretching exercises and recommend orthotics or other treatment methods. The longer you experience heel pain, though, the harder it becomes to treat effectively.
At the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center, we have the expertise, technology, and compassion to help diagnose and treat various foot and ankle conditions. Call the Washington, DC office at 202-968-3403 today to schedule an appointment to evaluate your heel pain.