What to Do About Heel Pain

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Here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center, located in Monmouth County, New Jersey, we treat a lot of patients with heel pain. Heel pain is really common and often the result of a problem with the plantar fascia - the band of tissue that supports your arch and inserts into the heel bone. When the plantar fascia is inflamed, we call it plantar fasciitis.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is really painful, especially at certain times. Most of our patients will tell us that their heel hurts the most at the very beginning of the day. Those first few morning steps can be agonizing. That’s because the plantar fascia’s had a chance to tighten up during the previous night of rest. Once you take a few steps in the morning, it stretches out and the pain eases up. 

Heel pain is also prominent at the end of the day, with discomfort increasing as the day goes on. When tissue is inflamed, walking, standing, and just generally being on your feet will naturally continue to irritate it. 

In addition to pain early and late in the day, you may feel burning or numbness in the areas of your heel and arch. 

Causes of plantar fasciitis

There are so many reasons why a person’s plantar fascia becomes inflamed. It may be due to 

  • overuse - too much of the same activity such as jumping or running
  • a tight Achilles tendon
  • shoes that fit poorly
  • something out of line with foot structure
  • an inflamed nerve
  • an accident or other trauma

Attack heel pain head-on

Plantar fasciitis has a way of sticking around for weeks and even months. We recommend that you take prompt action to fight it before it gets worse. Our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Joseph Saka, and Dr. Katy Statler can help you with targeted treatments, including

  • anti-inflammatory medications (stronger than over-the-counter varieties)
  • strapping and bracing
  • icing
  • stretching exercises
  • custom orthotics to correct any anatomical issue
  • corticosteroid injections

About 90% of our patients will respond to these conservative treatments. Others may respond to EPAT shockwave treatments performed right here in our office. In extremely rare cases, plantar fasciitis will require surgery. 

For expert treatment of heel pain, visit us at one of our modern podiatry offices in Howell and Jackson New Jersey. Call us at (732) 905-1110 or make an appointment online.