What the Source of Your Heel Pain Could Be
Do your heels often feel sore or like acute pain is shooting through them? Is this worse in the morning, or maybe after a long walk or run? At Paoli and Center City FootCare Centers in Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Robert Cohen and Dr. Ushma Sheth investigate and treat heel pain, and when they see patients with these symptoms, they often find out that the condition at fault is plantar fasciitis. Read on to learn more!
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis involves stress on and inflammation of the broad ligament located on the arch of the foot. This plantar fascia connects the toes and heel bone, and when overused, it becomes sore, red, and inflamed.
Also, gait imbalance leads to heel pain. If a person turns his or her foot inward while walking, it overstretches the plantar fascia, causing pain. Some people refer to this problem as overpronation or flat feet.
Treating heel pain
In their Philadelphia and Paoli offices, Dr. Sheth and Dr. Cohen inspect the feet of patients who complain of heel pain. They may do X-rays or an MRI, looking for heel spurs or problems with the Achilles tendon which runs from the calf to the back of the heel. Gait analysis is a common diagnostic tool, too.
Whatever the underlying cause, your podiatrist will show you ways to counter the stresses placed on your feet and to reduce, or even eliminate, your discomfort. Surgery, including plantar fascia release and bone spur removal, is an option, but typically used only in the severest of cases which do not respond to treatment.
Your treatment plan may recommend the following:
- Foot flexion and ankle roll exercises performed upon waking in the morning (also advised by the Arthritis Foundation)
- Wearing well-constructed shoes and sneakers which have adequate arch support
- Customized shoe inserts, such as heel cups
- Analgesics such as acetaminophen or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or cortisone injections
- Ice packs to the affected areas
- Losing weight
In addition, Paoli and Center City FootCare Centers offer something called Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, a non-surgical, in-office treatment that sends small sound waves into the tissues of the foot. This process breaks up scar tissue, boosts blood flow, and facilitates healing.
Get back to normal with expert help from Paoli and Center City FootCare Centers. To schedule an appointment, please call one of our offices—for Philadelphia, phone (215) 545-0388, and for Paoli, dial (610) 647-0400.