Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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Help for Heel Pain

 Plantar fasciitis is commonly referred to as heel pain. It is typically described as pain that occurs in the morning or after rest in the bottom of the foot near the heel bone.  It may feel like tightness to the heel into the arch. After a few steps, the discomfort may lessen.   The plantar fascia is a ligament on the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes.  The area that attaches to the heel can become irritated and inflamed.  The ligament can become tight and painful.

There are ways to prevent and help the discomfort of plantar fasciitis. Stretching and ice applied to the area is very helpful. Stretching the foot and the leg is beneficial.  Wearing supportive shoes and or an arch support can be helpful. Arch supports can be custom made or prefabricated for your feet.  The arch support will provide support to the arch and cushion the heel. This will help with the shock absorption when walking.  You want to avoid walking barefoot.  You may even have to decrease your activity level. 

In addition to stretching, other treatment can be used to treat heel pain.    Medication to decrease the inflammation can be taken; injections into the heel can also be used.  90% of plantar fasciitis improve with non-surgical treatment.

You want to be evaluated since heel pain may also be related to another tendon or ligament problem. A bone or nerve condition may be involved as well.

A podiatrist will evaluate your signs and symptoms, perform an evaluation to confirm plantar fasciitis. Additional tests may be needed such as x-rays, MRI, and blood tests.  If conservative treatment does not help, then there are additional treatment options that can be considered.

Jennifer Gross-Edwards, DPM