Heel Pain Specialist

Richmond Orthopedic Institute

Surgeons located in Richmond, VA

At least 2 million Americans experience heel pain annually. If your heel pain disrupts your daily activities, it’s time to see experienced podiatric surgeon Dr. Anson Chu, at Richmond Orthopedic Institute in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Chu skillfully evaluates the underlying causes of your heel pain, prescribes treatment that relieves the discomfort, and restores your ability to function normally. Call the office to schedule an appointment or click on the online booking tool today.

Heel Pain

What causes heel pain? 

There are many reasons for heel pain, the most common being plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs when you develop many tiny tears in the plantar fascia, the thick connective tissue that spans the bottom of your foot and attaches to your heel bone.  

Plantar fasciitis usually develops with repetitive pressure on the arch of your foot. So, anything from distance running to extra weight and pregnancy can lead to plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis causes pain that shoots from the back of your foot (where the heel bone connects) to the arch of your foot.  

Heel spurs are hooks of bone that can grow on the bottom of your heel. Surprisingly, heel spurs very rarely cause heel pain. However, they frequently occur alongside plantar fasciitis, which can cause pain that is quite severe. 

Some other conditions that can cause heel pain are: 

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Haglund’s deformity (pump bump)
  • Bursitis
  • Heel fractures 

There are also many less-common sources of heel pain, such as bone infections.

How is the cause of heel pain diagnosed? 

To diagnose heel pain, Dr. Chu examines your foot clinically. He may ask for details about your heel pain, including:

  • When the pain started
  • What time of day the pain occurs
  • How long the pain lasts 
  • Whether the pain occurs only after or during certain activities
  • What the pain feels like (sharp, aching, shooting, or other descriptors) 

This information can help Dr. Chu determine which specific condition you have. For example, with plantar fasciitis, the heel pain is usually most severe when you first wake up, but with Achilles tendonitis, it’s usually most painful after running or other intense physical activity.  

Dr. Chu may also perform an X-ray or other imaging to make a definitive diagnosis so he can formulate the best customized treatment plan for you. 

How is heel pain treated? 

At Richmond Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Chu typically uses non-invasive treatment methods to resolve your heel pain, such as:

  • Splinting
  • Physical Therapy
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Anti-inflammatory injections
  • Alternative therapies, like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy 

Fortunately, heel pain usually gets better with conservative care. However, if you have a severe injury or heel pain that doesn’t improve after several weeks of treatment, Dr. Chu may recommend certain surgical intervention including minimally-invasive approaches.  

If you need help with heel pain, call Richmond Orthopedic Institute or click on the online booking tool today.