Heel pain is very common and is often caused by plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis or heel spurs – calcium deposits on the heel.
Plantar fasciitis pain is felt at the bottom part of the heel, can be dull and achy, and can sometimes feel like ‘pulling’ on the heel. Severe cases of plantar fasciitis can cause levels of pain consistent with someone sticking a nail into the bottom of the heel. The pain is typically worse in the morning with the first few steps of the day or after an extended period of sitting. This pain is caused by tightness in the posterior leg muscles and the plantar fascia in the foot. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that supports the arch of the foot. It runs from the bottom of the heel out to the toes.
Our foot & ankle specialists generally recommend conservative treatment for plantar fasciitis, which includes stretching, icing, custom arch supports, and oral or topical anti-inflammatory medications. Patients with plantar fasciitis can also benefit from early intervention with an ultrasound-guided cortisone injection to jumpstart healing and quickly eliminate pain. Many patients also get tremendous benefit from amniotic stem cell injections, which rush regenerative cells to the affected area, resulting in a quicker return to activity.
Stretching with a night splint regularly is also a mainstay of conservative treatment. Plantar fasciitis very rarely requires invasive or surgical intervention. In extreme cases, Kipferl Foot & Ankle specialists may recommend minimally invasive endoscopic plantar fascial release or ultrasound debridement of the ligament.
Anyone who is experiencing heel pain in the morning or evening that is not getting better with rest, ice and stretching should consider making an appointment to see a foot and ankle specialist. At Kipferl Foot & Ankle, we want all of our patients to remain as active as possible. Our in-office technology, which includes digital radiology and HD ultrasound, allows us to quickly diagnose the problem and provide immediate treatment that will get patients back on their feet as soon as possible.