Heel Pain

Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute

Podiatrist Foot & Ankle Reconstruction Surgery located in Barkley Village, Bellingham, WA

Heel pain affects around 10% of the American population today. It’s one of the most common foot ailments, and also the most undertreated. At Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute, board-certified podiatrists Michael Czurylo, DPM, and Hyowon Choi, DPM, use the latest innovative treatments to help you walk without wincing again. Call the Bellingham, Washington, office to schedule or request an appointment online today.

Heel Pain Q & A

What causes heel pain?

Your heels may be small, but they do quite a lot to support your body weight. Unfortunately, this means that heel pain is often enough to force you off your feet until you get help. There are  several causes of heel pain, including:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Heel spurs
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Nerve Impingement

Other things, such as overexertion and wearing shoes that don't fit, can also contribute to heel pain. If you have diabetes, you may have an increased risk of nerve damage, causing various symptoms, including tingling, numbness, and pain.

How do you diagnose heel pain?

At Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute, the skilled podiatrists review medical history and current health as well as performing a full clinical foot exam. They'll ask you questions about your lifestyle and routines to help isolate potential reasons for your heel pain. 

Your podiatrist may also use the in-office X-ray and ultrasound imaging machines to look for bone and tissue changes in and around your heel. After considering all these factors, your podiatrist makes a diagnosis and recommends a treatment plan. 

How do you treat heel pain?

At Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute, your podiatrist typically recommends conservative care techniques to help you heal the root cause of your heel pain. 

By healing inflammation and damage within the painful ligament, tendon, or other tissue, you can ease the pain and reclaim your mobility. Treatment options may include:

  • Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT)
  • Custom exercises
  • Night splint
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Injections
  • Surgical interventions

You might also benefit from custom orthotics, which can protect your heel and prevent future injury. Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute has a state-of-the-art digital orthotic foot scanner on site.

What is Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) for heel pain? 

EPAT is a non-invasive, evidence-based treatment in which your podiatrist delivers acoustic pressure waves directly to your heel. These safely induce microtrauma in the affected tissues, causing your body to begin its powerful injury response. 

This injury response includes natural regenerative effects that heal connective tissue and bone damage to end your pain. Sessions take 10 minutes or less, and most patients feel better in just three to five weekly sessions. 

For innovative heel pain solutions without downtime, call Northwest Foot and Ankle Institute to book a consultation or request an appointment online today.