Heel Pain from Plantar Fasciitis Causes Symptoms and Treatments
What is plantar fasciitis? Basically, it is an inflammation of the ligament on the bottom of your foot. The plantar fascia is basically the main support of your arch, so by keeping your plantar fascia healthy it helps to keep your arch support there. Repetitive stress, and excessive stress, is the most common thing that we see as far as the underlying cause of these. It’s, again a straining, an inflammation of the plantar fascia. It’s about 10 to 16% of all the U.S. population.
It’s one million outpatient visits per year in the U.S. That’s a tremendous number. The most common thing that we see, by far, is the mechanical: flat feet, wearing poor shoes, things of that nature. But the reason I put this up here is because there are a tremendous amount reasons that heel pain can occur, and as soon as someone has heel pain they automatically assume they have plantar fasciitis. But the thing that my job is, is to differentiate all these other problems. Some of the risk factors again, unfortunately women are more common than male,.
Again, that’s probably a shoe area issue. Flat feet, or pronation. Tight Achilles tendon. And then walking and standing on hard surfaces. Don’t go too fast, gradually increase your activity, obviously wear good shoes, wear good inserts, and that will help to prevent those injuries. Stretch, stretch, stretch, and when you think you’ve done it enough, do it some more. You can’t overstretch it. The two that we recommend are the wall stretch,.
So you put your hands up on the wall, and you put your one foot behind you, and you just keep the heel on the ground, and that will help stretch out the Achilles tendon. The other one is, with using either a belt or a towel, while you’re in bed, just put it at the end of your foot, not across the toes, but across the ball of the foot, and just keep your knees straight and pull. Pull for about 10 to 15 seconds, repeat it 2 or 3 times, and at that point, do it 3 or 4 times a day.
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons actually came out with a heel pain treatment ladder. It is very, very specific as far as what you do form six weeks to six months to beyond that. It starts with the basic things like strappings and stretching, and overthecounter inserts, antiinflammatories. We try that for six weeks, and then you go into cortisone injections, custom orthotics. Surgery is really uncommon.
I don’t tend to do it very often, And I see heel pain, again, 4 or 5 times a day. But, it’s really indicated after six months of conservative treatment when that’s failed.