Heel pain is one of the most common problems when patients experience foot pain. It has been reported that approximately 40% of people in the U.S. suffer from heel pain at any given time. The major cause of bottom-of-the-foot heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is designed to support the arch and absorb high stresses the foot takes on as we go through our day-to-day activities. Sometimes these stresses become too much for the tissue to handle. This can cause micro-tears to the tissue which result in pain and inflammation to the heel (where the plantar fascia attaches). You may even have a spur at the insertion site (this however is typically just a symptom of the problem, not the cause of the pain). Fortunately, plantar fasciitis can be treated with a wide range of options, most of which are nonsurgical. These include rest, ice, steroid injections, biological injections, stretching, orthotics, night splints, and physical therapy. If these options fail, surgical release of the plantar fascia is a potential solution to the problem.
There have been some very promising advances in care for heel pain. Such as platelet rich plasma PRP injections and amniotic fluid injections. The amniotic membrane injections are very exciting because they allow the body to repair itself using the young cells found in the placenta. Those cells are precursor cells and high in anti inflammatory properties. Patients have been very satisfied with these treatments as they don’t require a incision and don’t require a trip to the operating room.
Physical therapy and stretching and custom molded orthotics will always play an important role in the treatment of heel pain.Many studies have linked a tight achilles as the source of the heel pain. So be sure to do a lot of stretching.
If you are suffering from heel pain, please give my office a call to schedule an appointment. You do not need to suffer any more!