Heel Pain is one of the most common foot disorders we encounter. Pain under the heel, may indicate a condition that inflames the tissues on the base of your foot.
This could be one of the following conditions:
- Plantar fasciitis: Extended periods of walking or standing can inflame the tissue band (fascia) connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes. Pain is centered under the heel and flares up during the first steps after waking up.
- Heel spur: When plantar fasciitis continues for some time, a heel spur (calcium deposit) may form where the fascia connects to the heel bone. This bony protrusion can be 1/4″ or longer.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
We often will prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. A program of exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are the mainstay of treatment and lessen the chances of recurrence.
Approximately 90% of people with plantar fasciitis improve significantly after 2 months of treatment. You may be advised to use shoes with shock-absorbing soles or fitted with a temporary arch support. Your foot may also be taped into a particular position. You may be a candidate for custom-molded arch supports, known as orthotics.
When plantar fasciitis is extremely swollen and tender, we sometimes inject the heel with steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. In a few cases, surgery may be necessary to release the ligament.
Treatment for Heel Spurs
The treatment of heel spurs is by and large the same as the treatment for plantar fasciitis. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
Our doctors specialize in treating plantar fasciitis and heel spurs and are particularly encouraged by their use of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy also known as ESWT as a non-surgical option for pain relief from heel pain.
Shockwave therapy uses an acoustic energy wave that is focused at the area of pain. The shock wave causes micro-trauma to the area stimulating an intense focused inflammatory response that promotes healing at the insertion point of the plantar fascia. ESWT has been acknowledged as revolutionizing the treatment of chronic heel pain, reducing inflammation and successfully triggering a healing response to the injured tissue with little or no side effects after a short recovery period.