There are many different causes of heel pain, the most common is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that stretches from your heel to the ball of your foot. This band is an important part of supporting the arch of your foot. The plantar fascia deals with an enormous amount of stress throughout the day as we walk. Stress on this fascia results inflammation and pain. Foot structure, overuse and improper footwear are a few causes that may result in this injury.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis is pain felt along the bottom of the heel and arch. Sharp pain is most often noted during the first few steps in the morning and after periods of rest.
The treatment of plantar fasciitis is usually conservative and rarely requires surgery. Treatment typically consists of a combination of modalities such as:
1.Use of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or cortisone injection.
2. Support of the foot with taping.
3. Over-the- counter insert/arch support or custom orthotic to improve foot function.
4. Calf and arch stretching exercises.
5. Night splint.
Treatment varies based upon the patient, doctor, severity and length of time of the symptoms. When symptoms don’t resolve or become recurrent then other options can be considered such as a new class of medications called biologics or minimally invasive surgery techniques.
When treating plantar fasciitis it is important to remember that there is not one treatment protocol that fits all patients. It is important to remain patient to allow healing to move forward as it can be a slow process.