What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

It’s a Big World of Heel Pain

The key to providing the most effective treatment for a patient’s heel pain is identifying the problem. The symptom may seem simple on the surface, but the potential causes of it are many.

Some common causes of heel or arch pain include, but are not limited to:

  • Plantar Fasciitis. This is the most common form of heel pain we see. It develops when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the underside of the foot, becomes strained and aggravated, leading to micro-tears and inflammation. If you have heel pain first thing in the morning, plantar fasciitis is a prime suspect.
  • Achilles Tendinitis. The Achilles tendon connects the back of your heel bone to your calf muscles. When it becomes overly stressed, it can cause pain in the back or just above the heel.
  • Heel Spurs. These outgrowths of the heel bone can sometimes cause pain due to their positioning. However, in most cases they are harmless—the actual root of the problem is the mechanical imbalance in the foot responsible for causing the spurs to develop.

Additional causes of heel pain can include arthritis, bursitis, nerve entrapment, gout, stress fractures, bone tumors, and other conditions. It is essential to accurately diagnose the condition and identify the contributing factors which caused the problem. If we treat just the symptoms and not the causes, you can expect pain to come back again and again!

In some cases, mechanical instability of the feet—such as flat feet or high arches—can strain certain areas of the foot, resulting in pain. In other cases, too much physical activity is to blame. If you have mechanical instability of the feet and push your body too hard without giving yourself proper time for rest and recovery, heel pain may be an unintended consequence.

Once we have thoroughly examined the problem, we recommend an ideal course of treatment to meet each patient’s needs.

Treatments for Heel Pain

No two cases of heel pain are ever quite the same, so our recommendations for treatment will vary depending on the underlying root cause of the heel pain. We provide a wide range of methods, from traditional to advanced.

A treatment plan might include one or more of the following:

  • Custom Orthotics. If mechanical instability of the feet is a factor, the use of custom orthotics can provide proper support and corrective influence to shift excess stress away from certain areas, much like eyeglasses control the instability or weakness in our eyes.
  • Splints, Braces, and Supports. For some cases, the use of splints or bracing can hold a stressed plantar fascia or other tissues in more comfortable positions, reducing overall discomfort.
  • Stretches and Exercises. Physical therapy can help condition the feet and ankles to relieve stress or better endure it. For example, stretching tight calf muscles can help reduce their strain on the Achilles tendon and heel.
  • Anti-inflammatories and cortisone injections: oral or topical NSAIDS reduce inflammation and pain, relieving your symptoms. Sometimes a cortisone injection is the quickest route to recovery.
  • Advanced Treatments. The use of stem cell injections and other regenerative forms of medicine can accelerate the recovery of injured tissues, as well as reduce pain and inflammation.

We will fully discuss our best recommendations with you so you can make the best-informed decision regarding your treatment. If you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to ask. The more we know about your situation, the better we can tailor a treatment plan to you!

Heel Pain 1

Don’t Wait on Heel Pain Help

The sooner your causes of heel pain are addressed, the quicker you can resume the activities you enjoy. You also greatly reduce your risk of having a chronic condition which will prolong your recovery or require more invasive treatments, such as surgery.

We’re always happy to hear from you! Schedule an appointment with our Scottsdale office by calling (480) 629-5903 or by filling out our online contact form below.