With the beating a person’s feet take during a lifetime, it is not surprising that one of the most common complaints seen at A Home of Happy Feet is heel pain. Although there can be many causes of heel pain, by far the most common cause is plantar fasciitis. The typical patient will complain of pain on the very bottom of the heel, especially when first arising in the morning. After walking, it will seem to get better. Later in the day the pain will seem to return, especially if they sit and then get up again.
The cause of all this pain, the plantar fascia, is a ligament that attaches to the bottom of the heel bone and extends up the entire arch to the ball of the foot. If you pull up on your big toe and feel a tight band in the arch, that is the plantar fascia. You can think of the plantar fascia like a shock absorber in a car. It helps to protect the foot from the tremendous forces it endures when your foot impacts the ground. Sometimes these forces are so great they cause an inflammation of the plantar fascia itself, hence the name plantar fasciitis. In cases where the inflammation of the plantar fascia has been present for some time, a “heel spur” may develop where the ligament attaches to the heel bone.
There are a variety of treatments are available from Dr. Ronald Douglas for patients suffering from plantar fasciitis. A detailed examination needs to be done to first eliminate other causes of heel pain, such as fractures of the heel bone, tendonitis or arthritis. Treatment of plantar fasciitis at A Home of Happy Feet is initially directed at reducing the stress on the plantar fascia that caused the inflammation. This usually involves a tapping of the arch and stretching exercises of the Achilles tendon, followed by a supportive device (orthotic) placed in the shoes to support the plantar fascia. Other treatments aimed at reducing the inflammation include oral anti-inflammatory (advil, Ibuprofen) and cortisone injections. In cases that do not respond to conservative therapy, there are surgical options available.
If you suffer from heel pain, please call A Home of Happy Feet and make an appointment with Dr. Ronald Douglas at 509-838-2929. For more information, consult the link below: