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Dallas Podiatry Works

Heel Pain Radiating Up the Leg

The human body relies on a coordinated effort by many parts and systems working in conjunction to keep us alive and participate in our favorite activities. This can be seen in various areas, but the lower limbs are clear examples of complex structures that work together and affect one another. In some instances, the effect one part has on another is not necessarily a good thing, and such is the case when heel pain starts radiating up the leg.

Heel Pain Radiating Up the Leg

There are a couple of different potential explanations when pain starts down in the heel and then begins to travel up the leg. These include:

  1. Heel pain traveling up the legWhen heel pain is caused by Achilles tendinitis, the painful sensation can travel up the tendon and be experienced in the back of the leg.
  2. Some cases of heel pain develop from nerve inflammation or irritation. When this happens, the nerve pain may radiate either up or down along the affected nerve. This creates the possibility that heel pain radiates up into the leg.
  3. Whenever pain is experienced in a foot, it can lead to either subtle or significant gait changes. The most obvious example of this is limping as the result of an injury. Depending on the nature of the gait change, this can potentially affect how other areas of the foot or even the leg moves. As a patient compensates for the injury, muscles, bones, and nerves can experience abnormal stress loads, and this is then perceived as radiating pain.


Heel Pain Treatment

Naturally, treatment will depend on the specific injury and its severity, but it is important to have heel pain properly addressed to avoid the pain radiating up the leg. In a vast majority of cases, the treatment needed to address the original issue will be conservative in nature. This can include such nonsurgical methods as rest, ice, medication, shoe modifications, and custom orthotics.

Although they are rare, there are heel issues that may require a surgical procedure. When this is the case, though, you can find comfort in the fact that Dr. Joel Brook, Dr. David Northcutt, Dr. Irene Arroyo and Dr. David Baca are experienced, skilled, and highly knowledgeable when it comes to foot and ankle surgical procedures. Our foot specialists will make sure your issue is properly resolved and you have the post-operative instructions to recover completely.

Preventing Heel Pain

Now that you know how heel pain can travel up the leg and some of the treatment options, let’s take a look at prevention measures you can take on the front end:

  • Ease into activity. You can reduce your risk of Achilles tendinitis by starting new activities at low levels of intensity and duration, and then gradually increasing them over time.
  • Wear proper footwear. Your shoes should be appropriate for the activities you perform and fit correctly. It’s also important to make sure they offer sufficient cushioning and ample arch support.
  • Cross-train. Reduce the amount of physical force your feet face by incorporating low-impact activities into your exercise program. Also, make sure to have rest days so that your body can recover from high-impact exercises.

Professional Heel Care and Treatment in Plano, TX

Whether your heel pain begins to travel up the leg or stays down in the back of the foot, you can benefit from the care and treatment we provide here at Dallas Podiatry Works. Our foot doctors will evaluate your condition, provide an accurate diagnosis, and then create a treatment plan for you to relieve any painful symptoms and allow you to participate in your favorite activities.

Call toll-free (888) 716-5283 for more information or schedule your appointment at either our Plano or Dallas, TX podiatrist offices online today.


Dr. Joel W. Brook
Dr. Joel Brook is a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Dallas Podiatry Works in TX.