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There is nothing like sore heels to slow you down and keep you from enjoying life. Whether it is a nagging ache or a sharp, lancing pain, you want relief so that you can be mobile again. In the greater Calgary area, you are fortunate to have expert podiatrist Dr. Andrew Irvine on your side. Bring your sore feet to Axis Foot & Ankle Clinic for expert diagnosis and treatment of a variety of issues that cause heel pain. Here are a few:

Plantar Fasciitis Hurts under Your Heel

This is one of the main causes of heel pain. When you notice discomfort underneath your heel bone first thing in the morning, but it gets better after a few minutes, it is likely you have this condition. It involves the ligament in the sole of your foot that supports your arch. When it becomes inflamed, or it tightens and pulls on the calcaneus, the stabbing pain can be quite disabling.

You don’t need to live with discomfort like this every day. There are many treatments for painful heels—conservative ones like rest, icing, stretching, and using custom orthotics—that have a good track record for taking care of the problem. Ultrasound and other therapies developed more recently show great promise as well. We’ll help find the one that works best for you.

Achilles Tendinitis Hurts behind Your Heel

Just like your plantar fascia under your arch, the Achilles tendon at the back of your ankle can be damaged from overuse, too. The tendon can stretch, develop tiny tears, or even rupture completely, making it hard for you to point your toes or climb stairs. Soreness often occurs where the tendon attaches to the heel bone, or in the bursa (fluid sac) that cushions where tendon and bone meet.

Many Achilles injuries are due to tight calf muscles, so a big part of treatment is reconditioning the muscles. Stretching can help your heel pain, as can rest and RICE therapy in the initial days after the injury. In some cases a cast or boot may be used to keep the tendon in proper position, and sometimes surgical repair is the best treatment. We will help you decide which therapy will help you most.

Dry, Cracked Skin: Heel Fissures

When dry skin is not treated, thick calluses can develop and small splits can form on your heels because the skin is not elastic enough to handle the pressure of your steps. A crack in the skin can become so deep that the tender tissue under the callus is exposed, causing pain bad enough to keep you hobbling.

We can give you instructions to help get your skin smooth and soft again. Follow them faithfully and your heel fissures should disappear. Of course, if you have diabetes, you’ll want to come in for our expert care, since any cracks or splits can spell danger for your feet.

Extra Bone Growth: Heel Spurs

Although they are not usually painful in and of themselves, these deposits of calcium underneath or at the back of your heel bone can press on soft tissue in the area, causing irritation, swelling, and inflammation. This can happen with a condition called Haglund’s deformity at the back of your heel, and also with plantar fasciitis under your heel. We can investigate what is causing these spurs to form and design treatment for any associated pain, including pads and cushions and the right kind of footwear.

There are other causes of sore heels, such as bruising from a deteriorating fat pad or stepping on something hard. Fractures, due either to long term repetition or a sudden acute impact, can also be extremely uncomfortable. Whatever is causing your heel pain, call (403) 477-3338 and set up an appointment at one of our three Calgary, AB, locations.

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