may develop when you pound your feet on hard surfaces playing sports or wear shoes
that irritate sensitive tissues. A sore heel will usually get better on its own if you give it enough rest. Unfortunately, many people try to ignore the early signs of heel pain and keep on doing the
activities that caused it and this can lead to chronic pain. Conditions that cause heel pain generally fall into two main categories: pain beneath the heel and pain behind the heel. Pain beneath the
Heel. If it hurts under your heel, you may have one or more conditions that cause inflammation of the tissues on the bottom of your foot. Stone bruise. By stepping on a hard object, you can bruise
the fat pad on the bottom side of your heel. It may or may not look discoloured. With rest, the pain subsides gradually.
In the majority of cases, heel pain has a mechanical cause. It may also be caused by arthritis, infection, an autoimmune problem trauma, a neurological problem, or some other systemic condition
(condition that affects the whole body).
Depending on the specific form of heel pain, symptoms may vary. Pain stemming from plantar fasciitis or heel spurs is particularly acute following periods of rest, whether it is after getting out of
bed in the morning, or getting up after a long period of sitting. In many cases, pain subsides during activity as injured tissue adjusts to damage, but can return again with prolonged activity or
when excessive pressure is applied to the affected area. Extended periods of activity and/or strain of the foot can increase pain and inflammation in the foot. In addition to pain, heel conditions
can also generate swelling, bruising, and redness. The foot may also be hot to the touch, experience tingling, or numbness depending on the condition.
Depending on the condition, the cause of heel pain is diagnosed using a number of tests, including medical history, physical examination, including examination of joints and muscles of the foot and
Non Surgical Treatment
The proper treatment for your heel pain depends entirely on the specific cause(s) of your symptoms. Therefore, it is critical to understand the cause(s) of your symptoms before beginning any
treatment program and if you are unsure, then seeking medical advice is essential to develop the proper treatment program for your condition. Some common treatments are listed and can be performed at
home. Keep in mind that not all of these treatments are appropriate for every condition, but they usually a good place to start. Rest, reducing activities for a few days can help to reduce the most
severe pain. Ice, applying ice to the heel for 10 minutes several times a day will help to reduce inflammation. Stretching exercises, to lengthen the muscles in the back of the leg, including the
hamstrings, will help to ease pain, reduce focal pressures to your feet and assist in recovery. For plantar fasciitis, this may be the best treatment of all. Avoid going barefoot, when without shoes
excessive stress and strain is placed on the plantar fascia. Proper shoe gear, supportive shoes that fit and are not too worn along with good arch support help to reduce the stress and strain on the
plantar fascia over time. Medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as Motrin (ibuprofen), may help to reduce inflammation. If the pain persists or worsens after a couple of days,
an appointment may be necessary where Dr. Talarico may add one or more of these additional modalities to your treatment program. Orthotic b, whether pre-fabricated or custom orthotic is used, these
devices can help reduce the underlying structural abnormalities of the foot which have lead to the development of plantar fasciitis. These are often used to limit the recurrence of plantar fasciitis
pain. Strapping, a special taping technique to help reduce the strain on the fascia. Injection therapy, in some instances injections are used to reduce the inflammation and reduce pain. Night Splint,
this allows you to maintain an extended stretch on the plantar fascia while sleeping. Over time, this has shown to reduce the morning pain which some people experience. Removable Walking Cast, in
some case of severe heel pain this may be used to keep your foot immobile for a few weeks allowing it to rest and heal. Physical Therapy may be recommended to aid in pain relief. At The Foot &
Ankle Center, PC, Dr Talarico will often utilize two additional in-office modalities, EPAT and MLS Laser Therapy, which are very effective in treating most inflammatory conditions of the foot and
ankle, including plantar fasciitis.
Surgery to correct heel pain is generally only recommended if orthotic treatment has failed. There are some exceptions to this course of treatment and it is up to you and your doctor to determine the
most appropriate course of treatment. Following surgical treatment to correct heel pain the patient will generally have to continue the use of orthotics. The surgery does not correct the cause of the
heel pain. The surgery will eliminate the pain but the process that caused the pain will continue without the use of orthotics. If orthotics have been prescribed prior to surgery they generally do
not have to be remade.
Before you get out of bed in the morning, and then periodically throughout the day, do the following exercises to increase flexibility and ease pain. Slowly flex your foot and toes to stretch the
tissue on the bottom of your sore foot. Hold the stretch for 10 counts. Relax and repeat. Do gentle ankle rolls to keep the tissues around the ankle and on the back of the heel flexible. Sit on the
edge of your bed and roll your foot back and forth over a tennis ball.