Heel pain is one of the most common problems people experience with their feet. There are a variety of reasons why it can occur, but in many cases it is diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis commonly presents as pain in the heel when you first get up in the morning or after sitting down for a period of time. The pain may gradually subside after taking a few steps, only to return again later in the day or after being on your feet for some time.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
There is ongoing debate over the exact mechanism of injury in plantar fasciitis, but it is commonly described as inflammation in the area where the plantar fascia (a thick ligament that runs along the sole of the foot) inserts in to the heel bone. This inflammation occurs when there is repetitive stress on the area, commonly attributed to the arches of the feet flattening too much when walking and causing the plantar fascia to stretch and pull on the heel bone. It may also occur after a person has done more walking or running than usual.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
Treatment of plantar fasciitis may involve any or all of the following: icing of the area, massage, stretching excercises, change of footwear, orthotic therapy, night splints, dry needling, ultrasound or extra-corporeal shock wave therapy. Your podiatrist will be able to recommend the best treatment for you depending on the severity of your pain and the likely contributing factors.
There are other causes of heel pain, so if you are experiencing heel pain it is best to see your podiatrist to have your specific condition diagnosed and have an appropriate treatment plan formulated for you.