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Heel Pain Specialist

InStride Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center

Zachary Nellas, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Charlotte, NC

Pain in the back or underside of your heel can affect your mobility and limit your physical performance and daily activities. If you suffer from heel pain, board-certified podiatrist Zachary Nellas, DPM, and his team at InStride Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, help men and women uncover the source of their heel pain and find the best treatment for effective relief. To speak with Dr. Nellas about your heel pain, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Heel Pain Q & A

What causes heel pain?

Common causes for heel pain include:

Heel spurs

A heel spur is a bony growth that develops on the bottom of your heel as a result of long-term stress on your muscles and ligaments. Repetitive stress from walking, running, and jumping can strain the tissue in your heels, causing you to gradually develop a heel spur. Issues like arthritis, excess body weight, and wearing ill-fitting shoes can also lead to heel spurs. 

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a very common cause of heel pain that occurs when the group of tissues that runs along the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia) becomes irritated and inflamed. Plantar fasciitis is caused by repetitive stress that irritates and tears these tissues. Excess weight, running, and long periods of standing on hard surfaces can stress the plantar fascia and lead to plantar fasciitis. 

Achilles tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis refers to pain caused by inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is located in the back of your lower leg and connects your calf muscles to your heel. Achilles tendinitis is caused by overuse and repetitive stress to the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendinitis is common in people who run and play sports like tennis or basketball. 

Additional causes of heel pain include arthritis, bursitis, fractures and other types of injuries. If left untreated, certain conditions like Achilles tendinitis can lead to further complications and damage to the structures in your foot or ankle. 

When should I see a doctor?

Although heel pain is rarely caused by a life-threatening condition, it can greatly impact your mobility and overall quality of life. If your heel pain is severe or begins to interfere with your daily activities, book an appointment at InStride Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center to speak with Dr. Nellas about your treatment options.

How is heel pain treated?

How your heel pain is treated depends on the underlying cause. During your appointment, Dr. Nellas performs an in-depth evaluation to diagnose your heel pain and develop the most effective treatment plan. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Orthotics
  • Night splints 
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections
  • RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
  • Over-the-counter pain medications

Dr. Nellas takes a comprehensive approach to care, and may combine a number of different conservative treatments to relieve your heel pain. In severe cases, your heel pain may require surgery. 

Dr. Nellas and his team offer a number of safe and effective procedures to correct the cause of your heel pain. To discuss your discomfort, call or book your appointment online today.