Plantar Fasciitis Produces Heel Pain

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Most people are used to having sore feet after a long day standing on hard surfaces, a night out dancing in the moonlight, or wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. Usually, taking the weight off your feet and kicking off the shoes or a good night’s rest resolves the problem. But for many people, chronic pain—especially chronic heel pain—is an everyday annoyance.

Chronic heel pain can take a serious toll on your quality of life since anything that involves standing becomes painful, walking gets to be excruciating, and exercise is not an option. Even just sitting at your desk with your feet up can be uncomfortable.

There are several conditions or types of injuries that can cause chronic heel pain, and while many people rapidly come to the conclusion that chronic heel pain must mean they have bone spurs, the actual culprit can be plantar fasciitis. This is a condition that is characterized by the plantar fascia, which is a band of connective tissue that spans the sole of the foot, becoming irritated and inflamed, causing pain and discomfort.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that runs from your heel bone to the pads of your toes along the metatarsal bones. It’s a primary part of your body’s built-in shock absorber system, and when it experiences excessive stress and strain, it can develop microscopic injuries that cause inflammation and pain—especially in the heel area. Plantar means “sole of the foot,” and fasciitis  means “inflammation of the fascia.” A multitude of factors can contribute to it, from walking on hard surfaces like tile and concrete, to poorly fitting and unsupportive shoes.

Foot structure also plays a role in the development of plantar fasciitis and abnormal foot structure can put undue stress on it. People with high arches or flat feet are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis treatment

Plantar fasciitis treatment generally involves a calf-stretching program and proper arch support. A night splint, which keeps the fascia in a stretched position while you are sleeping, can be helpful. In more severe cases, cortisone injections often provide pain relief as the tissues heal. Conservative treatment usually resolves plantar fasciitis within a few months, but in rare cases surgery may be necessary.

If you are experiencing the pain of plantar fasciitis, see your podiatrist right away. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg, E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuriespediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.