Why Does My Heel Hurt?
February 2009
In This Issue
What Causes
Heel Pain?
New Alert!
Dr. Ron Worley
Dr. Worley profile picture 
 Quick Links
Dear patients and friends,

Why I Wrote This Article
I have been a podiatric physician and surgeon specializing in the care of the feet and ankles for 38 years. In the past decade, I have watched the incidence of heel pain assume an epidemic-size magnitude. 
Consider: 25% of Americans will be affected by heel pain sometime in their lives!
This is confirmed to me almost every day in my practice.  Far too often, patients wait to see me about their heel pain until it becomes unbearable. Please know that you do not have to suffer!  Heel pain can be treated early and quickly eased without the need for surgery 98% of the time.  If you come in at the first sign of pain, it is almost guaranteed that together we will fix whatever the heel problem is.
Why this epidemic?
There are many reasons to explain this phenomenon, but three factors stand out:
  1. Non-supportive footwear. Flip-flops and soft sandals are not only unsupportive, but can set one up for injuries due to foot instability in these flimsy but popular types of footgear.
  2. Our increasingly athletic lifestyles: this is a seeming paradox because exercise has so many healthy benefits.
  3. Increasing obesity: carrying extra pounds increases strain on all foot structures which can lead to strains, sprains and other pathology that can result in foot pain.
After seeing these recurring patterns of heel pain, I decided to create a publication for you based on the book I am writing, The Heel Pain Book: Causes and Treatment. It will be published in Spring or Summer of this year.
If, after reading this article, you feel you could be helped by seeing a podiatrist, I hope you consider The Foot Doctor of San Diego.  My staff and I will do everything we can to treat your condition, reduce or eliminate your pain, make you feel confident of your recovery, and make you feel at home.
Dedicated to your health,
Dr. Ron Worley

What Causes Heel Pain?
Pain is your body's way of saying that we have sustained an injury or contracted an illness.  Pain is, thus, a red flag waving telling us to get medical help. Because several different entities can cause heel pain, it is very important to have your pain properly diagnosed and treated and treated by a podiatric physician.
The foot is a complex anatomic area with greater than 100 tendons, muscles, ligaments, and 26 bones with the heel bone being the largest of the foot bones.  Heel pain which should be diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist include pain on the bottom or the back of the heel, pain that is strongest upon rising from bed of sitting, and pain that increases in severity over a period of weeks to months.
The most common causes of heel pain on the bottom of the foot are Plantar Fasciitis (sometimes referred to as "heel spurs"), and Tarsal tunnel syndrome.
The common causes of pain in the back of the heel is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, bursitis, and bumps on the heel bone. All these conditions have their origin in a foot imbalance. among other factors.
By far, the most usual cause of pain on the bottom of the heel (97% of cases) is plantar fasciitis, which is an injury to the big ligament in the arch that attaches to the heel bone. The treatment for this condition is greatly enhanced by a quick diagnosis so that a non-surgical treatment can suffice. In addition to a hereditary foot imbalance, unsupportive footwear, long hours on your feet on a hard surface, and/or obesity are the usual culprits. 
Discussion of the remaining causes of heel pain is too lengthy for this newsletter to cover but will be covered in detail when my book on Heel Pain is published later this Spring.
The book will be provided free of charge to patients in the southern California area.  Be sure to e-mail us with your current address, phone number, and e-mail info if you want to receive your free heel pain book. We will also have a book on common foot problems to be published this spring or summer as well. Send your e-mail to SDFootDoctor@yahoo.com with the words "heel pain book" or "Dr.Worley's Foot Book" (or both titles) and we will place you at the top of the list to receive your copy(ies).  Also, tell us of any concerns you may have about you or your families feet and ankles.
News Alert! 
In March, our practice will become a part of the Banker's Hill Healthcare group.  We will be joining Dr. Robert Houghton and Dr. Flora Danque, Family Practice, in an expanded group to bring you multi-specialty convenience at the same location.
We plan to have a Patient Appreciation Day to honor our patients and let everybody get acquainted.  There will be lunchables, juices, and other beverages available as well.  It will be a  perfect time to meet the other doctors, their staff, and get a Free Consultation with them as well as renewing our acquaintance. This will be open to friends and family also. Stay tuned for more information!  We look forward to seeing you!
Dr. Worley and staff: Mimi. Ema, Susan, and Vangie. 

Free Exam
Treatment not included with this exam
Give this coupon to a friend who might be experiencing foot or ankle pain.
The Foot Doctor of San Diego
Ronald D. Worley, D.P.M.
1855 First Ave. Suite 200
San Diego, CA. 92101
(619) 231-1797