Common heel pain is inflammation caused by overuse, such as walking, running, or even standing for long periods. Heel pain can also be immediate as a result of a wrong step on uneven surfaces or simply wearing the incorrect shoe during certain activities.
The calcaneus (heel bone) has a tough band of tissue attached to it. This band is known as the plantar fascia. The tissue stabilizes the foot while a person is standing, walking, and running. Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation where the plantar fascia connects to the calcaneus.
Plantar fasciitis pain is typically gradual. The pain starts mildly, getting worse over time. The pain is often felt after exercise or other activity. Plantar fasciitis is most common in women and overweight people, but can also occurs to people whose jobs requiring extensive walking or standing.
Plantar fasciitis sufferers tend to adjust their posture and stride to avoid heel pain. This can lead to additional hip, knee, ankle, or foot problems.
Orthopedic treatment plans for plantar fasciitis usually involve rest, ice, anti-inflammatory meds, such as ibuprofen, and stretching. Many planter fasciitis patients respond to this conservative treatment. Plantar fasciitis pain may even resolve spontaneously.
If heel pain persists, steroidal injections, a splint, or a walking cast may be prescribed. Surgery is rarely needed to release the plantar fascia. Despite the pain, plantar fasciitis causes no real damage to the foot.
If you live with heel pain, call the Foot & Ankle Center at Valley Orthopedic Associates. 425-656-5060.
For more information about plantar fasciitis, including recommended stretching exercises, click here.