Heel Pain Specialist

Lincoln Park Podiatry

Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Lincoln Park | Lakeview, Chicago, IL

You may not spend a lot of time thinking about your heels unless you develop heel pain that interferes with your ability to walk, relax, or even stand normally. Dr. Michael Williams is a well-respected podiatrist in Chicago, who put a lot of thought and skill into diagnosing and treating your heel pain. He leads the team at Lincoln Park Podiatry and has offices in the Chicago communities of Lincoln Park and Lakeview. Call today for an appointment or use his online scheduling service.

Heel Pain Q & A

What causes heel pain?

Inflammation and irritation of the tough band of fibrous tissue on the bottoms of your feet (plantar fasciitis) is a common cause of heel pain. This structure (plantar fascia) supports your arch, connects your heel to your toes, and helps your foot function. It generally affects only one foot at a time but can occur in both.

Other causes of heel pain include tendon tears and arthritis, as well as:

  • Stress fractures of the heel bone
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome compressing nerves in the feet
  • Spurs or bony protrusions/calcium deposits on the heel bone
  • Neuropathy and additional nerve disorders caused by diabetes, alcoholism, and other issues

How do you diagnose what’s causing my heel pain?

Correctly diagnosing your heel pain requires a complete podiatric physical examination and careful review of your symptoms. This detailed evaluation may include diagnostic studies, such as X-rays, to analyze the bony structures of your foot.

Dr. Williams also observes your gait and stance to determine if your heel pain is affected by or causing misalignment of your hips, knees, and ankles. They also investigate your exercise habits, the type of shoes you wear, and medical conditions that may be contributing to your heel pain.

What is the treatment for heel pain?

The right treatment for heel pain depends on the cause and is often related to how long you’ve experienced symptoms. Many treatment methods bring faster relief when the problem is new.

Your doctor may recommend:

  • Changes in activity and footwear
  • Medications such as ibuprofen to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Custom shoe inserts, arch supports, and elastic ankle supports to relieve pressure on the heel and nerves
  • Physical therapy treatments that include exercise, stretching, and ultrasound therapy to promote circulation and speed healing

They may also suggest injections to relieve inflammation. Persistent issues may require surgical correction, such as tarsal nerve release.

One minimally invasive surgical technique using the Koby Isogard® system takes 10 minutes to perform and requires only two stitches to close a very small surgical incision. It’s proven extremely effective in treating plantar fasciitis and certain tendon injuries.  

Regardless of the nature of your heel issues, many effective treatments exist to relieve your symptoms. There’s no need to “live with” discomfort when Dr. Williams can provide care that restores function as it resolves your pain.