We treat a lot of heel pain or plantar fasciitis in our office. Plantar fasciitis is usually caused by tightening of the plantar fascia, or a fibrous ligament which makes up the arch on the bottom of the foot. The ligament contracts during rest (when not weight bearing). As you start to walk, the ligament pulls and may tear slightly causing pain. Heel pain can also be brought on by trauma, over exertion, ill- fitting shoes or poor foot alignment. Flat feet are also commonly associated with heel and arch pain due to the extra distance the plantar fascia must stretch in a flatter foot. Heel spurs are also usually synonymous with plantar fasciitis. Typically, the spur itself is an adaptive change for your body to attempt to physically shorten the plantar fascia band. The bone growth itself typically isn't the cause of the pain. Symptoms include pain when you first get up in the morning, or after taking your first few steps after resting a while. You may also experience burning, numbness and increased symptoms as the day progresses.
We initially treat plantar fasciitis conservatively with:
Plantar fascia exercise/stretches
Functional orthoses (Feel free to browse our store for pre-formed options).
These are just a few of the more commonly used methods. In most cases (over 90%), patients tend to improve with just conservative therapy. However, surgical correction can be an option if all conservative options have been exhausted.
For more information, please feel free to get in touch with us.