Heel Pain Answers
Heel pain can stop people from doing the things they love. Even simple movements such as walking can prove to be a challenge when the heel hurts. Plantar fasciitis has often diagnosed the condition for those suffering from heel discomfort.
There is a flat band of tissues called the plantar fascia that runs from the toe area to the heel. If it becomes inflamed or irritated, the heel pays the price. This tissue acts as a support for the arch and can be strained or torn, causing plantar fasciitis.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
A strained plantar fascia can damage the tissue causing pain. There are certain stresses that can be attributed to this condition such as:
- High arches
- Flat feet
- Being overweight
- Excessive pronation
- Tight calf and Achilles tendons
- Worn out shoes
- Running or standing for long periods on a hard surface
The first symptom is the obvious pain that is located at the heel with a connection to the arch. The discomfort often increases over time and is more apparent when first standing. Swelling around the heel is a common occurrence.
The Next Step
A visit to the doctor is advised for a definitive diagnosis. Go prepared with a complete medical history and expect an extensive foot exam. They often use x-rays imaging modalities to diagnose the problem.
Once a diagnosis has been made treatments can begin. The first line of defense should involve at home therapy that includes:
- Stretching the calf muscles
- Wearing shoes when walking
- Icing the heel
- Heel rest
- Modification to shoes
The physician may recommend wearing pads, orthotics, therapy, a walking cast, or a night splint. Physical therapy, when combined with specific exercises, is used to help relieve pain. Injection therapy helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing.
Many people respond well to nonsurgical treatments but for those that do not, surgery is an option. The surgeon will go over possible options with the patient if the need arises.
Carolina Hand and Sports Medicine has a team of experts who get people back on track. They want each of their patients to experience a pain free lifestyle. Check out their website at http://www.carolinahand.com/ to discover a world where compassionate care and a love of life is the goal.