Painful Heel

Heel pain is one of the most common podiatric symptoms patients will experience. It can become debilitating and severely limit simple daily activities like standing and walking. The first step is tracking down the source of your heel pain.

Potential Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain can be caused by several different conditions, including:

Plantar fasciitis – This is probably the most common cause of pain in the heel. It occurs when the plantar fascia, the long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes, becomes inflamed. This can be due to mechanical issues within the foot, improper footwear, and overuse.

Achilles tendonitis – high-impact sports such as tennis or basketball can put excessive strain on this long, strong tendon that runs from the calf to the heel in the back of the lower leg, causing it to become inflamed and resulting in heel pain.

Bursitis – within the heel is a fat pad known as the bursa that protects the heel. Inflammation of the bursa can happen from overuse and repetitive actions that stress the heel, such as walking and running, and irritation caused by shoes.

Treatment for Heel Pain

The treatment for heel pain will depend on the diagnosis of your symptoms. You can see, however, that inflammation is a primary factor in the pain in all of the above conditions. In many cases resting the heel and making modifications to footwear can help reduce pain. Stretching exercises and physical therapy may also be prescribed. Sometimes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections may be suggested to relieve pain and inflammation. These, however, can ultimately have a detrimental effect on tendons, bones, cartilage, and stem cells.

Regenerative Medicine: A Safe and Effective Alternative

Revolutionary new treatment options for heel pain include regenerative medicine procedures. These treatments use concentrated repair cells taken from your body to amplify your body’s natural healing abilities. Regenerative medicine treats the whole affected area. In addition to relieving pain, it aids in improving cell and cartilage conditions to make your heel healthier and pain-free. Two effective regenerative treatments include:

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate – for this procedure, we use a bone marrow concentrate containing stem cells harvested from the iliac crest, an area at the back of your hip that contains a dense population of these healing cells. Advanced imaging guidance allows these cells to be concentrated and precisely injected into the correct location.

Platelet Rich Plasma & Platelet Lysate Procedures – these treatments use platelets taken from your blood that contain healing growth factors and promote the body’s natural healing abilities. Just as in bone marrow treatment, advanced guided imaging ensures accurate placement for maximum healing.

Contact our Chicago office today at 773-348-7171 to learn how we can help. We can evaluate your specific condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment options for you.