Heel pain is often caused by a very common condition called plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a ligament that starts on the heel bone, runs across the bottom of the foot, and ends near the base of the toes. This means that the plantar fascia acts as an arch support.
Heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis often presents as pain with first step in the morning when getting out of bed or when getting up from resting or extended sitting. This is because at rest the plantar fascia shortens and with that first step the plantar fascia stretches out. Plantar fasciitis pain can also be felt when standing for extended periods or when exercising.
There are multiple possible causes of plantar fasciitis including overpronation (rolling inwards of the foot and ankle), ill-fitting shoegear, obesity, tight calf muscles/Achilles tendons, and standing on hard surfaces for extended periods.
We start with conservative (non-surgical) treatment for patients with plantar fasciitis. This may include rest, NSAIDs, or steroids. We also recommend calf stretches and icing the heel. We also recommend changing shoes to a more supportive pair as well as orthotics to help provide arch support and take pressure off of the heel. If these treatments do not provide complete relief, we can also consider stretching devices such as a night splint, physical therapy, and cortisone injections. In severe and chronic cases, surgical intervention is an option.
The podiatrists at Star Foot & Ankle Specialists will provide a thorough explanation and tailor treatment to each individual patient. If surgical intervention is necessary, they offer minimally invasive techniques