Heel pain is one of the most common foot complaints. It often occurs with the first steps out of bed or after sitting for extended periods, but can also affect people during their daily activities and sports. The pain can be described as sharp and stabbing, burning and tingling, or tightness and deep aching. Heel pain can occur gradually or suddenly, but is usually not associated with an injury. So, what is the cause of this terrible pain?
Heel pain can be caused by several different conditions, including nerve entrapment, fracture, growing pains, Achilles tendonitis, and bursitis; but most commonly it is caused by plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is pain on the bottom of the foot caused by tightness along a thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia. A heel spur may or may not be present and is rarely the source of the pain. This tightness can be caused by flat feet, high arches, obesity, unsupportive shoes, tight calf muscles, fat-pad atrophy, and/or repetitive micro-trauma.
So, what’s the good news? The good news is hat 90% of patients with plantar fasciitis improve with conservative (non-surgical) treatment. This includes stretching, appropriate shoe gear, icing, anti-inflammatories, orthotics, avoiding barefoot walking, night splints, steroid injections and/or MLS laser therapy.
If you have heel pain, don’t put it off any longer. Call to make an appointment so we can get you back to life pain-free!
Dr. Anna Gurrera