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Can Custom Orthotics Stop My Heel Pain?

Heel pain can make virtually every upright activity you engage in difficult or even impossible. And such pain is common, affecting nearly 10% of middle age and older adults at some point. Thankfully, a variety of heel pain treatments are available, including custom orthotics.

At Oexeman Foot and Ankle, PLLC, in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Stephanie Oexeman and her team diagnose and treat heel pain to help you regain comfort and normal movement. 

Read on to learn more about heel pain, including common causes and how custom orthotics can help.

What causes heel pain

Most anyone can experience heel pain, but it’s more likely if you have flat feet, carry excess weight, play sports, or have a particular medical condition. 

Conditions that cause heel pain include:

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Baxter's nerve entrapment
  • Bone bruises
  • Bone spurs
  • Bursitis
  • Haglund’s deformity
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Stress fractures

Heel pain can also stem from uncomfortable and poor-fitting shoes. Shoes that push your feet or body out of alignment, for example, or offer too little support around your heels can fuel pain.

You can also develop heel pain if you have a bunion that causes you to place more of your weight on the back of your foot. Bunion pain can flare up from overly narrow or unsupportive shoes, as well.

Custom orthotics for heel pain

Custom orthotics are special inserts created for your unique needs, that redistribute the pressure placed on your feet. Custom orthotics also improve the alignment of your feet, if you have flat feet or particularly low arches.

All of this means less stress on your heels, which can prevent the formation of painful conditions like bunions, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. Orthotics can also prevent heel pain or keep it from getting worse once it rears its head.

Other treatments for heel pain

Depending on the specifics of your heel pain and the underlying cause, Dr. Oexeman may recommend orthotics and/or another treatment. 

Other effective heel pain treatments include:

  • Activity modifications
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching exercises to do at home
  • Taping your feet 
  • Ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections

If conservative treatments don’t fully help or your heel pain gets worse, we may recommend minimally invasive or traditional surgery. In the case of a heel spur, for example, surgery that cuts part of the ligament that’s causing tension and inflammation can help.

To learn more about heel pain and orthotics or to get the care you need, call our office or book an appointment online today.