It’s a common misconception that foot, heel and, arch pain is simply a natural part of aging. While it’s true that your feet have a tough job bearing your weight over the course of a lifetime, pain that interferes with your ability to work, exercise, care for your children, or engage in your favorite hobbies is not normal. With proper podiatric care, you can find the source of your pain and get the treatment you need to get back to doing what you love.
Common Causes of Foot, Arch, and Heel Pain
At Grandville Foot and Ankle, we treat patients suffering from a wide range of painful conditions. Some of the common causes of foot, arch, and heel pain that Dr. Sarah Stewart can address include:
- Achilles tendonitis. When the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed, you can experience pain when rising up on your toes or stretching the tendon. You may suffer a decreased range of motion in the ankle as a result.
- Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a common source of heel pain that is caused by general wear and tear on the joints. Foot and heel pain is also seen in the majority of people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, a type of chronic inflammatory disease affecting the joints.
- Bunion. These bony growths on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint cause swelling and pain in the affected area and make it difficult to wear shoes.
- Bunionette. Also known as a tailor’s bunion, a bunionette is an enlargement of the outer part of the joint of the little toe that is caused by the movement of the little toe inward toward the other toes. People who have bunionettes often suffer from bunions as well.
- Bursitis. Heel bursitis affects the bursa between your heel bone and Achilles tendon—resulting in pain and a limited ability to move your foot or ankle.
- Flat feet. Also known as fallen arches, flat feet can lead to pain in the arches, lower legs, and ankles. Generally, the pain worsens with activity.
- Haglund’s deformity. An abnormality of the bone and soft tissues in the foot, this condition is also known as “pump bump” and most commonly affects women who often wear high heels that are too tight or too stiff. It can cause severe pain in the area where the Achille’s tendon attaches to the heel.
- Hammertoe. A condition wherein a toe curls inward or bends upward at the middle joint, in an unnatural way. This condition typically affects the second, third, or fourth toes, and can cause pain and difficulty walking that can progressively worsen without treatment.
- Heel spurs. These bony deposits build up on the heel bone and often appear after a case of plantar fasciitis. They can be painless but often cause sharp pain in the heel when you first wake up, followed by a dull ache the rest of the day.
- Neuroma. Also referred to as a pinched nerve, a neuroma can cause a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot, as well as pain between the toes while you are walking.
- Plantar fasciitis. Caused by an inflammation of the band of tissue extending from the heel to the toes, plantar fasciitis leads to stabbing pains on the bottom of the heel that are most painful when a person wakes up in the morning.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome. When compression of the posterior tibial nerve causes the nerve to become inflamed, this can lead to pain on the underside of the foot.
Potential Treatment Options
Every case is unique, but you can be assured that we will recommend treatments that are customized to fit your unique needs. Often, conservative treatment options such as shoe modifications, custom orthotics, night splints, padding, and taping can provide the necessary pain relief. Physical therapy, prescription painkillers, or corticosteroid injections may also be beneficial.
Surgery is generally not needed for foot, arch, and heel pain unless conservative treatments are not providing the desired results. If your pain continues to interfere with your day-to-day activities, we can discuss the appropriate surgical care.
Request an Appointment Today
Grandville Foot and Ankle serves patients from Grandville, Jenison, Hudsonville, Georgetown, Zeeland, Grand Rapids, Caledonia, Kentwood, Lowell, and throughout Michigan. Contact us to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sarah Stewart.