Skip to main content

Heel Pain Specialist

James W. Ratcliff, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Los Gatos, CA

If you suffer from heel pain, then you know the impact it can have on your mobility and day-to-day activities. Located in Los Gatos, California, board-certified podiatrist James W. Ratcliff, DPM, can help determine the underlying cause and most effective treatment for your heel pain. Dr. Ratcliff is committed to state-of-the-art care and has over 30 years of experience successfully treating foot and ankle problems. To speak with Dr. Ratcliff about your heel pain, book your appointment by phone or online today.

Heel Pain Q&A

What causes heel pain?

Heel pain can range from mild to severe and comes with a long list of possible causes. Some common causes of heel pain include:

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a very common cause of heel pain that can make it difficult to walk or run without experiencing symptoms. Plantar fasciitis refers to irritation and inflammation of the tissues along the bottoms of your feet (plantar fascia). 

Over time, issues like overuse and repetitive stress can cause small tears in these tissues, eventually leading to painful plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis commonly affects people who participate in activities like running, tennis, soccer, and basketball.

Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is a group of tissues that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. Achilles tendonitis refers to pain and inflammation affecting these tissues. In most cases, Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury caused by repetitive stress and strain on the Achilles tendon. 

Achilles tendonitis causes pain, tenderness, and stiffness, especially after prolonged periods of running or climbing stairs. 

Additional causes of heel pain include:

  • Bursitis
  • Fractures
  • Heel spurs
  • Arthritis

Heel pain isn’t something you should suffer through. If you experience symptoms, receiving the right treatment can preserve your foot health and help you avoid further complications. 

How is heel pain diagnosed?

To diagnose your heel pain, Dr. Ratcliff begins with a physical exam and review of your medical history. During the physical exam, Dr. Ratcliff feels for areas of pain, tenderness, and other abnormalities. 

In many cases, Dr. Ratcliff also performs imaging tests like an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan to gather more information about your condition. After your diagnosis, Dr. Ratcliff works with you to determine the most effective treatment for your condition. 

What treatments are available for heel pain?

Treatment depends on the underlying cause and severity of your heel pain. Typically, Dr. Ratcliff treats heel pain using conservative, nonsurgical methods. Depending on your condition, treatment may include:

  • RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
  • Physical therapy
  • EPAT®
  • Platelet-enriched plasma
  • Custom orthotics

Dr. Ratcliff also offers in-office as well as surgery center and hospital-based surgery. With the right treatment, Dr. Ratcliff can help relieve your symptoms and get you back to the activities you enjoy. To learn more about treating your heel pain, call or book your appointment online today.