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Heel Pain

heel painHeel pain can be difficult to deal with, especially if you do not know what the underlying cause is. If you ignore your heel pain, the pain can magnify and potentially develop into a chronic condition. Depending on the location of your heel pain, you have developed a specific condition.

One condition is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, or the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes. The pain from this condition is initially mild but can intensify as more steps are taken when you wake up in the morning. To treat this condition, medication will likely be necessary. Plantar fasciitis is often associated with heel spurs; both require rest and special stretching exercises.

There are various options your podiatrist may suggest for heel pain. Treatment options for heel pain typically include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which may reduce swelling and pain. Other options are physical therapy, athletic taping, and orthotics.

Preventing heel pain is possible. If you are looking to prevent heel pain from developing in the future, be sure to wear shoes that fit you properly and do not have worn down heels or soles. Be sure to warm up properly before participating in strenuous activities or sports that place a lot of a stress on the heels. If you are experiencing any form of heel pain, speak with your podiatrist to determine the underlying cause and receive the treatment you need.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a chronic condition in which the long band of durable connective tissue across your arches - your plantar fascia - continues to become stressed and inflamed. In some cases, plantar fasciitis is a result of wearing unsupportive footwear, especially if you train or play sports on hard and flat surfaces. You can also develop plantar fasciitis due to:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Standing on your feet all day for work
  • Faulty foot mechanics, such as flat feet or high arches
  • High impact exercise programs

No matter what’s causing your plantar fasciitis pain, you don’t have to learn to live with the discomfort.

When should I see a podiatrist for plantar fasciitis?

Your feet shouldn’t cause you pain and because foot pain can affect your work and daily activities, you’re encouraged to schedule a plantar fasciitis exam with Dr. Frank Henry as soon as your foot pain begins. Dr. Frank Henry especially wants to evaluate you if you’re experiencing:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Stabbing pains
  • Difficulty bearing weight on your feet
  • Plantar fasciitis discomfort most commonly affects your heels and arches. Usually, your pain is worse first thing in the morning after getting out of bed, or right after getting up from a chair after sitting for several hours. The more you move around, the more your plantar fascia stretches out, and your symptoms start improving.

Occasionally, plantar fasciitis can flare up after periods of exercise or sporting activities. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, even if they seem minor or infrequent, get started on treatment with Dr. Frank Henry right away.

Which plantar fasciitis treatment do I need?

It’s important to get to the root of your plantar fasciitis through in-office diagnostic ultrasound and digital X-ray imaging. This way, Dr. Frank Henry can better pinpoint the cause or severity of your plantar fasciitis and rule out related conditions (like fractures). Depending on the outcome of your exam and imaging, Dr. Frank Henry could recommend any of the following nonsurgical treatments:

  • Custom orthotics
  • Physical therapy
  • Night splints
  • Injection therapy
  • Activity modifications
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Surgery is rarely recommended, over 97% of current patients respond to non-surgical treatment

If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, you can get the treatment you need with Dr. Frank Henry, Foot and Ankle Specialist. Book your plantar fasciitis exam online, or call either clinic directly.

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