Heel pain is a common problem that troubles people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Your heel pain may have started days, weeks, or months ago. At first you may have had a dull ache that didn’t last. Progression of pain is common. Typically, pain is worse when first getting out of bed in the morning or after sitting for any length of time. The first couple of steps can be debilitating, then the pain eases once walking is initiated. However, if you sit down for a minute or so and get up the whole painful episode is repeated. Prolonged standing or walking can be annoying to unbearable.
The most common type of heel pain is called PLANTAR FASCIITIS. This is caused by stress or strain in the ligament that attaches to your heel bone. There are a number of reasons why this occurs. Biomechanical imbalances are primary cause. Secondary causes are trauma, over use syndrome, and improper shoe gear.
Other causes of heel pain are heel spurs, stress fractures, nerve entrapment, and tendinitis. Diagnosis is usually made by history, exam, diagnostic ultrasound and/or x-ray. Treatment consists of addressing the acute symptoms, then advising a protocol to affect change in the function of your feet. Initial treatment may be oral anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections, taping, splints, cold laser treatments, and home physical therapy.
Orthotics are an integral form of treatment. Custom made devices can improve foot function by correcting excessive and abnormal motion of the many joints in your foot that can lead to strain on soft tissue structures resulting in pain.
If conservative care fails and symptoms continue for a minimum of six months, then surgical care can be explored. This procedure is accomplished on an outpatient basis where a small incision is made on the outside of your heel and the ligament is released.
Be assured that your heel pain will be properly addressed and treatment customized to your particular concerns and lifestyle.