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Heel Conditions

Discover the reason for your heel pain, and explore treatment options at EvergreenHealth Foot and Ankle Care for two common conditions: plantar fasciitis and Haglund's deformity.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is pain in the ligament (plantar fascia) that supports your foot's arch. It can happen when you put too much stress on your feet, such as during running or other repetitive physical activities. Tight calves, high arches, and obesity may also contribute to the condition.

Symptoms

The bottom of your foot near the heel may hurt when you first start walking after sitting or lying down for a long time. You may also feel more pain after exercise, but not during activity.

Diagnosis

A podiatrist with EvergreenHealth will examine your foot's shape, range of motion, and tender areas. You may also get an X-ray test.

Care for Plantar Fasciitis

You'll likely see relief after committing to simple approaches such as:

  • Avoiding activities that worsen the pain
  • Applying a cold water bottle to your foot for 20 minutes three or four times a day
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications to ease pain
  • Stretching your plantar fascia and calves with guidance from your doctor or physical therapist
  • Wearing thick-soled shoes and using heel pads or supportive inserts
  • Wearing night splints to stretch the plantar fascia while you sleep

Treatments & Procedures

In some cases, you may benefit from:

  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
  • Injections of cortisone, a pain-relieving steroid
  • Radiofrequency ablation, which inserts a thin needle into your heel to deliver energy that dissolves painful scar tissue

Haglund's Deformity

Haglund's deformity is a bony mass on the back of your heel. You might hear this condition called "pump bump" because it's common in people who wear pumps or other shoes with stiff backs. High arches, a tight Achilles tendon, and a habit of walking on the outside of the heel can also contribute to a Haglund's bump.

Symptoms

The condition often leads to bursitis, inflammation of a fluid-filled sac called the bursa. Bursitis causes pain, redness, and swelling at the back of the heel.

Diagnosis

Your podiatrist with EvergreenHealth will examine your foot and may order an X-ray test to see the structure of your heel bone.

Treatments

Conservative, nonsurgical treatments can relieve heel bursitis but may not shrink the bump. They include:

  • Activity changes, such as avoiding running on hard surfaces or up hills
  • Anti-inflammatory medications you take by mouth or put on your skin
  • Cold therapy you can apply by wrapping a bag of ice in a thin towel and pressing it against your heel for 20 minutes several times a day
  • Physical therapy, such as pain-relieving ultrasound therapy and Achilles tendon stretches
  • Shoe modifications, such as arch supports, heel pads, heel lifts, or backless or soft-backed shoes

Surgery for Heel Conditions

If necessary, a surgeon at EvergreenHealth can treat plantar fasciitis or reduce a bony Haglund's deformity during a simple outpatient procedure that allows you to return home the same day. Learn more about what to expect from foot and ankle surgery.

Make An Appointment

Call (425) 899-4650 in Kirkland or (360) 794-3300 in Monroe to make an appointment with one of our Foot & Ankle Care specialists.

One-Stop Shop

Get all of your orthopedic care in one place—EvergreenHealth's Neuroscience, Spine & Orthopedic Institute in Kirkland. Our comprehensive team of experts collaborate in orthopedics, sports medicine, physiatry, neurology, physical therapy, pain management and more.

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