Posts for tag: Plantar Fasciitis
While heel pain is a common problem this doesn’t mean that it should just be brushed aside or considered a small matter. Untreated heel pain can lead to long-term pain and other problems. While there are many causes of heel pain the most common cause is plantar fasciitis. This condition causes irritation and inflammation within the thick band of tissue (known as the plantar fascia) that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel.
The telltale sign of plantar fasciitis is that the heel pain occurs under the heel beneath the heel bone. The pain may radiate to the arches of the feet because the plantar fascia provides support to the arches, as well. Heel pain may be worse first thing in the morning or after long bouts of inactivity. You may notice that your heel pain gets better with movement and exercise but gets worse immediately after.
Many people can treat plantar fasciitis effectively with at-home care; however, if your symptoms are severe, become worse or aren’t responding to conservative home treatments after five days then it’s time to see your podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to provide you with answers as to what is causing your heel pain and how to best treat it.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Simple, conservative measures are usually all that’s needed to treat heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. This includes:
- Resting and avoiding exercise and high-impact activities that will make symptoms worse
- Icing the heel and arches of the feet up to 20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Wearing supportive shoes with a low heel
- Placing custom orthotics within shoes for additional support
- Performing specific foot stretching and strengthening exercises
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce pain and swelling
- Wearing a night splint to reduce morning pain and stiffness
Your foot doctor can show you a variety of exercises to perform that can alleviate heel pain and stiffness associated with plantar fasciitis. A podiatrist can also make prescription shoe inserts to provide your feet with the proper cushioning and structural support they need to reduce pressure points and improve the biomechanics of your feet.
Those with severe and persistent heel pain may require more aggressive treatment options such as ultrasound, steroid injections or shockwave therapy. Chronic plantar fasciitis may even require surgery to get rid of inflammation and tension within the plantar fascia. Surgery is rare but may be necessary when other treatment options have failed to properly manage and treat symptoms.
If you are dealing with heel pain for the first time it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist who can determine the cause of your pain and provide you with a customized treatment plan to get your heel pain under control.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Foot fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel spurs
Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist
- Wear shoes that fit well
- Wear proper shoes for each activity
- Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
- Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
- Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
- Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
- Lose excess weight
Find out what might be going on to cause your heel pain and how to treat it.
Heel pain is a common complaint that our Boise, Nampa/Caldwell, and Meridan, ID, podiatrists can help treat. Of course, it’s particularly common for most runners and athletes to experience heel pain at some point during their lifetime. So, what could be causing your symptoms and when does it a warrant a trip to see a doctor?
The specific location of your heel pain will give us some insight into what might be going on. For example, if the pain is under the heel then chances are good that your heel pain is the result of an inflammatory problem known as plantar fasciitis. This is usually the most common cause of heel pain. If the pain is above the heel bone or on the back of the heel then you could have Achilles tendinitis.
Both of these conditions usually appear gradually over time rather than as a result of an injury. You may barely notice these symptoms at first until they progress. Both conditions are the result of overuse, which is why both conditions are common in athletes. If you have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of your workout then you may put yourself at an increased risk for developing this problem.
When heel pain occurs it’s up to you to stay off your feet as much as possible and to take it easy. If you continue to run or workout you won’t give the inflamed tissue ample time to heal. The best thing you can do is to avoid high-impact activities until the pain has completely subsided.
Along with heel pain, it’s not uncommon to experience stiffness as well, particularly first thing in the morning when getting out of bed. This is usually when foot pain is at its worse, too. If you have Achilles tendinitis, these symptoms may be exacerbated after climbing stairs or standing for long periods of time. With plantar fasciitis you may be lulled into a false sense of security by not experiencing pain during your normal workout; however, the aching or stabbing pain often appears shortly after.
Treating Heel Pain
While plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis are the two most common causes of heel pain, they aren’t the only causes. This is why you should visit our Boise, Nampa/Caldwell, and Meridan, ID, foot doctor if you experiencing foot pain, especially for the first time. Patients who have diabetes or nerve damage in their feet should immediately seek care from a foot specialist.
You can ask your podiatrist about certain foot stretches you can do every day to help reduce stiffness and pain while improving mobility.
We may also recommend:
- Physical therapy
- Night Splints
- Steroid Injections
- Surgery (in persistent cases)
Heel pain isn’t something that you can treat by yourself. If you are dealing with sudden, severe or persistent foot problems then it’s time to turn to the foot care specialists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise, Nampa/Caldwell, and Meridan, ID. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you.