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
Of all the types of foot pain a patient may experience, heel pain is the most common according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. The discomfort can be felt not only on the bottom of the heel, but also in the ankle, lower leg, and under the foot. Don’t allow heel pain to keep you off your feet any longer—seek professional help from a podiatrist at the Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Butte and Bozeman, MT.
The Common Source of Heel Pain
A foot condition called plantar fasciitis, or heel spur syndrome, is the commonly reported cause of heel pain patients. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that extends from the toe bone to the heel bone. It takes a lot of pressure in the course of a day—especially when you’re wearing shoes that aren’t appropriate for your feet. That pressure leads to inflammation and pain that can make it nearly impossible to walk, run, or even stand in place for a long period of time.
Podiatric Heel Pain Solutions
A podiatrist at Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Butte and Bozeman, MT is familiar with why you may be experiencing heel pain, and how it can be eased. These are some of the most common solutions:
- Orthotics and padding designed to support the natural contours of your feet.
- Targeted stretching exercises that flex and stimulate the muscles, providing relief.
- Oral NSAID medications.
- Corticosteroid injections to manage pain.
- Surgical intervention.
Protect Your Heels and Feet
As much time as you may spend on your feet in an average day, it’s easy to forget to take care of them. Prioritize good foot health by adopting these simple foot care habits:
- Keep your custom orthotic inserts inside of your favorite shoes to protect and preserve your natural arch.
- Avoid wearing non-supportive footwear, or shoes that put a strain on your arch.
- Take a few days off and rest your feet. Give your heels a chance to heal.
Help for Your Heels
When you find yourself avoiding walking, running, and participating in your favorite activities because of unbearable heel pain, it’s time to see a podiatrist. Call 406-782-2278 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Dallin Greene or Dr. Nathan Judd at the Big Sky Foot and Ankle Institute in Butte or Bozeman, MT.
Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the long, dense band of connective tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot.
Repeated strain on the plantar fascia can cause tiny tears in the ligament. As tension and tearing increases, so does inflammation and irritation of the affected area. Risk factors of plantar fasciitis include foot arch problems (flat foot and high arches); excess weight; running; and a tight Achilles tendon.
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is gradually developing pain on the bottom of the heel. The pain is usually worst in the morning and after sitting or standing for a long period of time. For some, the pain subsides after walking or stretching.
To reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis:
- Rest. Limit and/or avoid activities that make your heel hurt.
- Ice. Reduce pain and swelling by icing the affected area each day.
- Stretch. Stretch your heel throughout the day, especially when you first wake up in the morning.
- Footwear modifications. Wear shoes that provide good arch support and a cushioned sole. Ask your podiatrist about pads and shoe inserts to relieve your heel pain.
When conservative treatments aren't effective, or your pain persists for more than a few weeks, schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms and treatment options. A podiatrist can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs. This may include stretching exercises, shoe padding, orthotic devices, night splints or therapy. Most patients respond to non-surgical treatments, but for pain that won't go away, surgery may be required.
With proper rest and treatment, recovering from plantar fasciitis can take just a few months. Visit us when you first experience pain for a diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.