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Your Heel Hurts: What’s the Problem?

Ouch! Your foot underneath your heel hurts when you first get up in the morning. Or you have pain and swelling at the back of the heel. Or the bottom of your heel is okay in the morning but hurts more and more as the day goes on.

Heel pain can be caused by many different foot and ankle conditions and each one has its own symptoms. It’s important to make an accurate diagnosis to determine what is causing the heel pain so the right treatment plan can be prescribed.

Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM created the Chicago Heel Pain Center specifically to address the many types of heel problems that cause discomfort and pain.

Heel Pain Has Many Causes

Here are just a few of the medical conditions that can bring on heel pain:

Achilles tendonitis, or inflammation of the Achilles tendon in the heel, usually occurs from overuse of the tendon, wearing improper sports footwear or trauma. You’ll feel pain and swelling at the back of the heel and lower calf especially after walking or running. If the Achilles tendon ruptures, the pain and swelling are more intense.

  • Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa, a sac filled with fluid that cushions the heel bone. It is most commonly caused by overuse, repetitive pressure and arthritis. The pain is located more in the middle section of the underside of the heel and increases with weight-bearing activities.
  • A pump bump, or Haglund’s deformity, is a bump at the back of the heel from friction with the shoe’s heel. The pain will be felt at the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches.
  • Plantar fasciitis is by far the most common cause of heel pain. When the plantar fascia, a tissue that extends along the bottom of the foot from the heel towards the toes, becomes inflamed from repetitive use or faulty foot mechanics, it’s painful to walk especially first thing in the morning.
  • Stress fractures can develop from a sudden increase in physical activity, poor conditioning or improper technique. The pain is relieved by rest and you may see tenderness, swelling and bruising.

Visiting the Chicago Heel Pain Center

We will first give both feet and ankles a thorough examination. We can take x-rays right in our office, and sometimes a blood test is necessary to rule out infection.

After making a careful diagnosis, we will know how best to treat your problem. Our treatment plan will, of course, be based on what we find as well as your overall health condition. Some of the most common approaches involve physical therapy and prescribing custom-fitted orthotics to redistribute pressure.

You’ve come to the right place! We can heal your heel to give you relief from pain and ensure that you are ready to resume all your normal activities.

Call Us with if You Suffer from Heel Pain

Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose and treat all types of heel problems. Don’t wait – contact our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. You don’t have to suffer from heel pain – help is available!