Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa
Rudolph La Fontant, DPM
Podiatrist, Sports Medicine, and Podiatric Dermatology located in Beaverdale, Des Moines, IA
More than two million Americans visit the doctor each year due to heel pain. Though painful, with early diagnosis and treatment, it’s possible to manage heel pain and prevent it from getting worse. At Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa, podiatrist Rudolph La Fontant, DPM, uses cutting-edge treatments for heel pain, including shockwave therapy. To make an appointment at the practice in Des Moines, Iowa, call the office today or click the online booking feature.
Heel Pain Q & A
What is heel pain?
Heel pain is any stiffness or discomfort that affects the area at the back of your foot, just beneath your ankle. For some people, heel pain is mild and responds to over-the-counter pain medication; for others, it’s near-constant or severe, making even simple tasks like walking down a flight of stairs impossible.
If you experience heel pain and it lasts for more than a week, contact Dr. La Fontant for an appointment right away.
What are some common causes of heel pain?
Dr. La Fontant treats heel pain caused by various underlying conditions, including:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Strains and sprains
- Achilles tendonitis
- Ankylosing spondylitis (a type of arthritis)
- Osteochondroses (a group of bone disorders)
You might also experience heel pain due to reactive arthritis, which is caused by an infection in your body.
Does heel pain increase my risk of other foot problems?
Yes. If you regularly experience heel pain, it can affect your ability to work, exercise, or perform routine tasks. It may even change the way you walk. If you have to change your gait or posture due to heel pain, you’re more likely to experience a fall, increasing your risk of other injuries.
How is heel pain diagnosed?
To diagnose heel pain, Dr. La Fontant asks about your symptoms, including when they first started, their severity, and if any activities like standing or exercising make them worse.
Next, Dr. La Fontant examines your heel. He gently presses on it to check for swelling or warmth and has you walk around the exam room to assess your gait and posture. If these steps don’t provide insight into your condition, Dr. La Fontant might also order X-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan to rule out a fracture or an overuse injury.
How is heel pain treated?
Dr. La Fontant offers cutting-edge treatments for heel pain, including extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). ESWT is a noninvasive treatment that directs low-grade electrical shock waves to damaged or inflamed soft tissue. The shock waves relieve pain and encourage your body’s natural healing process.
To ensure you fully heal, Dr. La Fontant also addresses the underlying biomechanical condition causing your heel pain. For example, you might benefit from custom orthotics, physical therapy, or behavior modifications.
To explore your treatment options for heel pain, make an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.