(501) 321-4844

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Dr. Joseph M. LaCava, DPM provides treatment for many different foot and ankle conditions here at Central Arkansas Foot Care, but one of the most common reasons for patient visits is heel pain. Fortunately, we are able to create effective treatment plans that do not require surgical intervention in a majority of cases. If you are experiencing pain in the back of your foot, it is important not to ignore or dismiss it as being “normal.” Instead, simply come see Dr. LaCava for the relief you need!

Heel Anatomy

When we discuss the various conditions and injuries that might be contributing to the pain in the back of your foot, it is helpful to have a general understanding of the heel anatomy. The calcaneus (heel bone) is the largest bone in your foot and located in the back. Your ankle bone (talus) sits above the calcaneus. There are two key connective tissues anchored to the heel bone – the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Both play a major role in some common medical issues.

Common Sources of Heel Pain

There are a couple of main reasons so many people experience heel pain. For one thing, we all place a tremendous amount of stress and pressure on our feet, and especially in the heel area. A larger contributing factor, though, is the number of causes of heel pain, which includes such conditions as:

  • Pain in the HeelPlantar Fasciitis – Out of all the possible reasons for heel pain, plantar fasciitis is the most common. The plantar fascia runs along the length of the foot (on its underside) and connects the heel bone to the front of the foot. The fascia is rather durable, but excessive strain and forces can lead to tiny tears in it. When this happens, your body starts mending the damaged tissue during periods of rest. Unfortunately, when you stand and take steps without the fascia being completely healed, the tears rip open again, which causes tremendous pain.

 

  • Achilles Tendinitis In addition to the plantar fascia, the Achilles tendon is also anchored by the heel. This tendon connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel. When subjected to repeated or intense physical stress, the Achilles can become inflamed, which causes pain in the back of your heel. This often happens when physical activity is suddenly started without easing into the activity first.

 

  • Sever’s Disease – For children, and especially adolescents, the most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as Sever’s disease. The name is somewhat misleading, since this really isn’t a disease. Instead, Sever’s can be thought of as a literal “growing pain” caused when a growth plate in the back of the heel bone reaches physical maturity before the Achilles tendon. This results in a situation wherein the tendon pulls on the bone, thereby causing pain for your child. The good news with this condition is that your child will outgrow it in time, with no long-term issues, and we simply need to manage the pain.

 

  • Calcaneal Fractures – As with any other bone, the calcaneus can become fractured due to either acute or chronic physical forces. An acute injury is one wherein the damage is done in a single incident, like a sports injury or auto accident. Chronic physical forces can lead to a stress fracture in the bone when your body isn’t able to regenerate new bone tissue.

 

  • Retrocalcaneal (back of the heel) Bursitis – In various places throughout your body, you have fluid-filled sacs known as bursae. These physical features provide cushioning for bones, tendons, and muscles near joints. You have a bursa in the back of the heel sitting between the calcaneus and Achilles tendon. When the bursa becomes inflamed, you develop a condition known as bursitis.

Comprehensive Foot Care in Central Arkansas

You can always find the effective treatment you need right here at Central Arkansas Foot Care with Dr. Joseph M. LaCava, DPM. Naturally, your treatment will depend on the severity and condition causing your heel pain, but the good news is that Dr. LaCava is often able to successfully provide relief and correct problems with the use of conservative (nonsurgical) care. But also, be comforted in the knowledge that Dr. LaCava has he experience training to surgically correct the problem if conservative treatment should fail. Contact us for more information by calling 501-321-4844 to reach our Hot Springs, AR office or 870-245-3003 to reach our Arkadelphia office. 

Hot Springs Office
3339 Central Avenue Suite F
Hot Springs, AR 71913
(501) 321-4844
   

Arkadelphia Office
2914 Cypress Rd
Arkadelphia, AR 71923
(870) 245-3003