One of the single biggest areas of pain people complain about is the heel of their feet. Your heels support the rest of your body every time you walk, run, jump, or even stand—so if there’s something wrong, the pain can quickly become unbearable. While foot pain may be “just a part of growing old” or a side effect of being active, you don’t have to live with it. At Shenandoah Podiatry, we help people just like you identify and treat the cause of their pain so they can get back to making the most of each day. 

What Are Some Common Causes of Foot and Heel Pain?

Some foot pain is due to hereditary conditions, some are due to your lifestyle, and some just happen naturally. The first step in fixing pain in your foot is determining what the cause is. Here are a few common causes:

  • Heel spurs. Bones can develop calcium over time, and if enough calcium builds up, it can cause a painful spur on the bottom of your foot. Every time you put weight on that foot, the spur will dig into the tendons, causing pain. This can be identified by a sharp pain in your heel when you stand or move.
  • Arthritis. A common condition that affects joints, arthritis causes pain and inflammation, making it difficult to stay active. If you have swelling, stiffness, or reduced range of motion, it may be arthritis.
  • Gout. An advanced form of inflammatory arthritis, gout occurs when a high level of uric acid crystallizes and deposits in the joints, causing swelling. Gout typically impacts the big toe, but it can happen in any joint. If you have sudden pain or swelling, gout may be the culprit.
  • Plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. When it becomes inflamed, it can cause a stabbing sensation that makes walking painful. This is one of the most common causes of foot pain. If you notice that your feet hurt with the first steps you take in the morning, it may be plantar fasciitis.
  • Activity injuries. Sometimes an active lifestyle takes a toll. Whether it’s a pain that has developed over time or the result of a one-time accident, there are many different issues that can develop in your feet.

Of course, there are plenty of other conditions that can lead to foot pain. If you attempt to treat your problem entirely on your own, you might end up with ongoing pain because you’re focusing on the wrong issue. If you have foot pain that won’t go away, you’ll want to schedule a visit to a podiatrist.

Can Foot Pain Be Treated at Home?

Depending on the condition, there certainly are some things you can do to help alleviate foot pain on your own:

  • Use an ice pack on the soles of your feet.
  • Take a daily medicine for inflammation.
  • Wear supportive shoes around the house.
  • Stretch your feet and calf muscles every morning.
  • Soak your feet in an Epsom salt bath.

If you’re on your feet a lot for work, a good pair of shoes with arch support can make all the difference. Many people even recommend switching to a different brand or style of shoes halfway through your shift since the second pair will put slightly different pressure on your feet. A good pair of compression socks can also help prevent your feet from swelling.

Should your pain persist despite home treatments, it may be time to let a professional take a look. Here at Shenandoah Podiatry, we utilize a number of different methods to remedy foot pain, but surgery is always the last option. Your issue might be remedied with something as simple as a regular injection or special orthotics.

Shenandoah Podiatry Can Help Treat Your Foot Pain and Get You Moving Again

Foot pain doesn’t have to be forever, and it doesn’t have to rule your life. If you no longer get to do the things you want to, the team at Shenandoah Podiatry can help restore your foot health. Does a doctor’s office make you anxious? We understand. That’s why we’ve created an inviting atmosphere for our patients to help put you at ease during your visit. Give our office a call at 540-904-1458 to set up your appointment, or use our online contact form.