Kelly L. Geoghan, DPM
Board-Certified Podiatrist & Heel Pain Specialist located in Baltimore, MD
Find relief for your heel pain and resume the active life you desire. Led by Dr. Kelly L. Geoghan, The Heel Pain Relief Center in Baltimore, Maryland provides the most advanced technology and techniques for heel pain available today. Dr. Geoghan is a Board-Certified Podiatrist with top-tier training and more than 25 years of experience. Recognized as a leader and innovator in heel pain treatment, Dr. Geoghan is renowned for her gentle manner, clinical expertise, and outstanding results. She will work with you to address the root cause of your condition, eliminate your pain, and help you return your daily activities in comfort. Take the first step today by scheduling your appointment.
Heel Pain Q & A
What is Heel Pain?
Heel pain is a common but particularly punishing ailment because it can prevent normal daily activity. Many patients describe it as a sharp, stabbing, or burning sensation that can sometimes become debilitating. If left untreated, heel pain can become disabling and can lead to other painful conditions. Suffering patients may compensate for the pain in their heel by altering the way they walk, creating unnecessary strain in other areas of the body, including the foot, ankle, leg, hip, and back.
If you are suffering from any discomfort in your heel, foot, or ankle, it is extremely important to seek treatment with a well-trained, experienced, board-certified podiatric.
What Causes Heel Pain?
Conditions that lead to heel pain are primarily created by prolonged overuse and repetitive strain in the foot, seen mostly in more active people like athletes and fitness enthusiasts. They can also be caused by wearing improper footwear or no footwear, and excessive weight.
The conditions that often lead to heel pain include: Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Sever’s Disease, stress fractures, nerve entrapment, Haglund’s deformity, and tarsal tunnel syndrome. Other factors that can exacerbate heel pain include poor circulation, complications due to arthritis and diabetes, poor form when running or exercising, and poor posture.
How is Heel Pain Treated?
At The Heel Pain Relief Center, Dr. Geoghan offers a wide range of treatments and technology to meet each patient’s unique needs. For mild cases, simple lifestyle changes can be effective, like icing, stretching, and footwear adjustments. More severe cases may require a more involved treatment plan, such as injection therapy, laser therapy, shockwave therapy, or surgery. Dr. Geoghan often recommends a combination of treatments to address heel pain and its causative condition.
Heel Pain treatment options include:
- Stretching exercises
- Physical therapy
- Activity changes
- Custom orthotics
- Footwear changes
- Oral medication
- Topical ice
- Padding and strapping
- Night splint
- Injection therapy
- MLS Laser Therapy*
- Shockwave Therapy*
*MLS Laser Therapy - Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy works by sending powerful light energy into your heel to stimulate cellular renewal, diminish inflammation, and promote faster healing.
*Shockwave Therapy - a safe, effective procedure that uses powerful energy vibrations to create microtraumas around the damaged tissue, stimulating the body’s natural healing process. This groundbreaking treatment provides long-lasting results with just one treatment and improvements are generally noticed within 24 hours post-treatment.
What Foot & Ankle Conditions Cause Heel Pain?
How your heel pain is treated depends upon the cause of your condition as well as your medical history, lifestyle needs, and general overall health.
As a board-certified podiatrist with extensive training and decades of experience caring for heel pain patients, Dr. Geoghan will carefully listen to your concerns and needs, answer all your questions, perform a physical exam, and conduct any necessary tests. She will then work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that will address your condition, eliminate your heel pain, and enable you to resume your daily activities in comfort.
Plantar Fasciitis - The leading cause of heel pain is Plantar fasciitis – a condition that develops when the thick strip of connective tissue, that starts at your heel and ends at your toes, becomes irritated and inflamed. Plantar Fasciitis mainly affects the bottom of your foot at the heel, rather than the back of the heel, and tends to result in severe pain, especially when first standing in the morning and/or at night after being on your feet all day.
Achilles Tendonitis - Another common cause of heel pain is Achilles Tendonitis – a condition that occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes strained and inflamed, typically by excessive exertion and overuse, mostly experienced by athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Sever’s Disease - Sever's disease is a childhood condition that occurs when the growth plate in the heel becomes inflamed and causes pain. It is mostly experienced by kids ages 8-12 who exercise or play sports on a regular basis or during a growth spurt, when the heel bone grows faster than the ligaments in the leg, creating excessive tension in the tendons and damage to the growth plate.
Heel Spurs – a heel spur is a bony calcium deposit that grows on your heel. Some heel spurs cause no symptoms, but others can cause inflammation, swelling, and pain.
They are caused by prolonged, repetitive strain, mostly from walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces, wearing ill-fitting or unsupportive shoes, and excess weight.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome - Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tibial nerve around the ankle becomes compressed or strained, creating a numb or tingling feeling. Conditions that create tarsal tunnel syndrome include varicose veins, cysts, swollen tendons, bone spurs, ankle sprains, flat feet, and systemic diseases that cause swelling in the area, like diabetes and arthritis.
Calcaneal or Heel Bursitis - Calcaneal Bursitis, also known as Heel Bursitis, is a condition that occurs when the “bursa” at the back of the heel becomes inflamed. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that sits between muscles and tendons and acts as a shock absorber and lubricant. Calcaneal Bursitis is caused by strenuous overuse or repetitive movements that exert excessive pressure on the bursa in the heel, mostly experienced by athletes and older adults.
Stress Fractures - A stress fracture is a fissure or crack in your bone. Anyone can develop a stress fracture in the heel, but they mostly affect osteoarthritis patients and more active people like runners, athletes, and manual laborers.
Haglund's Deformity - Haglund's Deformity is a painful enlargement on the back of the heel bone that becomes irritated by shoes. It usually appears red, painful, and swollen. Women tend to develop the condition more than men due to the irritation created by rigid heel counters in shoes that rub the back of the heel bone.
How Can Heel Pain Be Prevented?
While it is not always possible to prevent heel pain, there are lifestyle choices you can make to avoid injury and mitigate your chances of developing it, including:
- Wear properly fitting shoes that support the foot
- Stretch your muscles before physical activities like exercising or manual labor
- Maintain a nutritious diet
- Get an appropriate amount of rest
- Maintain a healthy weight
Take the first step toward lasting heel pain relief today! Contact us online or call 410.753.4422 to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting you!
Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California team up to study the utilization of ESWT in the treatment of in-season athletes.
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