Are you suffering from Heel Pain?

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Are you suffering from Heel Pain?

By Esther Hansen, D.P.M.

Heel pain is not a “normal” condition, although it is a very common one encountered by podiatrists. The majority of sufferers relay a history of “pain the first step in the morning” or “pain after periods of rest.” This particular condition is known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of a ligament type structure found on the bottom of the foot; this ligament, called the plantar fascia, runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. A common finding associated with plantar fasciitis is a bony growth found on the bottom of the heel called a heel spur. Patients may also complain of arch pain and a tight Achilles tendon. Many factors may aggravate heel pain such as ill fitting shoes, running, jumping or walking on hard unyielding surfaces.

Although plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain it is not the only one, other causes of heel pain may include:

  • Inflammation (such as bursitis)
  • Decrease in the heel’s fat pad (the shock absorbing area found at the bottom of the heel)
  • Trauma or injury (which may result in fracture and/or nerve damage)
  • Nerve entrapment
  • Arthritic changes
  • Infections
  • Decrease in blood supply to the area
  • Improper shoe wear
  • Increase in weight
  • Tumors

Certain diagnostic test such as X-rays, MRI, CAT scan, nerve studies, vascular studies may be used to rule out some of the above causes of heel pain. In terms of treatments, many people choose to see a physcial therapist. If you are looking for physical therapy san francisco way, then Get Luna offer on demand treatment. Other people choose to see a podiatrist. Treatments used by podiatrists to combat certain types of heel pain include:

  • Instructions on stretching exercises
  • Orthotics (custom molded shoe inserts)
  • Injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Instructions on proper shoe wear
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Foot strappings
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Plantar fasciotomy

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, you should seek evaluation and treatment from a trained professional from somewhere like Podiatry First.