Heel Pain: Plantar Fasciitis

“You Don’t have to live with foot pain. Call us today and let us help you!”

Heel pain or Plantar fasciitis, is an extremely common, though not serious condition. Occasionally very frustrating to treat. It is one of the most common conditions relating to the foot. It is when the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed and irritated, making it difficult to walk. This is most often the result of repeated episodes of minor but recurring

The Plantar Fascia is a strap-like structure on the bottom of the foot that runs the length of the arch from the heel bone to the toes.

The Fascia is not very stretchable and that is where your heel problems can begin. Any movement that repeatedly puts too much stretch on the arch and plantar fascia can cause it to tear or pull away from the heel bone. In time, it becomes inflamed.

Usually, the symptoms begin very gradually, but after several weeks to months the pain gets worse and does not go away. Generally, there is no swelling or bruising in the area. However, there is some tenderness when deep pressure is applied to the heel pad.

Anyone can have heel pain. How can you tell if you have Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain)?

If your pain fits two tell-tale signs:

  • Pain concentrated in the front of the heel pad, on the bottom of the foot.
  • Pain worse in the morning with your first steps out of bed, and/or pain when resuming walking after sitting down for a period of time.

If you experience both, then you probably have Plantar Fasciitis.

What Can Cause Heel Pain?

  • Non-supportive shoes.
  • Flat (pronated) feet.
  • High arched (Cavus) rigid feet.
  • Sudden increase in activity level.
  • Standing on hard floors for a long period of time.

Diagnosis

Your podiatrist will exam your foot for swelling, redness and tenderness of the area. X-rays may be taken to rule out other diagnosis. 

 An X-ray may be taken to rule out other illnesses like fractures, or to look for bone deformities.

Treatment

Initial treatment usually involves:

Heel stretching exercises, night splints or medical grade shoe inserts. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be given.

Most patients will see an improvement with conservative care within a few weeks. Further treatment may include steroid injections into the heel or arch area of the affected foot. In some cases, custom foot orthotics will be recommended.

In cases of chronic plantar fasciitis, it may be recommended that Extra-corporeal Shockwave Surgery (non-invasive type of surgery) be performed.

Without Treatment

Foot pain can continue, and progress into a severe condition that affects the ability to walk and perform day to day activities. Eventually, permanent damage to the plantar fascia or surrounding nerves may occur.

Heel pain is a curable condition. If you experience heel pain lasting more than a few days it is time to see a podiatrist. Dr. Hollander has treated thousands of heel pain patients and he will recommend a treatment plan that is tailored to your lifestyle and symptoms.

You do not have to live with heel pain. Let us help you return to a pain free life and resume your life.