Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

What Is Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)?

Heel pain is a common condition that affects our feet.  Many people will suffer for a long time, because they think the pain will go away.

podiatrist-foot-ankle-services-heel-pain-peoria-azUnfortunately, this pain often gets worse and sometimes becomes disabling.  Simple activities such as taking a few steps after getting out of bed can be quite painful. Heel pain can be located on the bottom or back of the heel.

It is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. Our foot and ankle surgeons are able to distinguish between all the possibilities and determine the underlying source of your heel pain.  If you ignore your heel pain, the pain can magnify and potentially develop into a chronic condition.


Heel Pain Causes

There are many possible causes of heel pain.    They are generally related to increased stress on the heel from over-use, improper shoes, injuries, or a combination of factors.   The two most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.   If you experience pain on the bottom of the heel and arch whenever you resume walking, especially first thing in the morning, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis.   People who have problems with their arches, either overly flat feet or high-arched feet, are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.


Wearing nonsupportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis.   It is often seen in runners or active individuals who are on their feet all day, but it can occur in almost anyone.  If not properly treated, the plantar fascia will continue to be strained and the condition will worsen.

Tightening or burning pain of Achilles tendonitis is located at the part of the tendon that is slightly above the heel bone.  Achilles tendonitis most commonly develops from overuse in running too much or from not properly warming up your calf muscles.  Along with pain, there may be mild swelling and warmth over the Achilles tendon.

Heel Pain Nonsurgical Treatment

The podiatrists at Peoria Foot & Ankle Specialists will perform a thorough exam of your feet that may include an x-ray, determine the cause of your heel pain and discuss a specific treatment plan.

Wearing supportive shoes with custom orthotics helps reduces stress on the plantar fascia.  Anti-inflammatory medications may initially be prescribed to decrease pain and inflammation of the structures around the heel.  It is also important to minimize stress on the heel.  If needed, a steroid injection may provide the quickest path to relief.   In chronic cases, additional therapies such as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) may be required.

We would love to see you to educate you on the best possible care for your feet.  We have locations in Peoria, AZ and Wickenburg, AZ

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