Heel pain is incredibly common among our patients here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center. Its most widespread cause is plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the wide band of tissue called the plantar fascia located deep in the sole of your foot. Picture a thick group of elastic fibers that begins at the bottom of your heel. It continues along the bottom of your foot and then fans out to connect to the top of each metatarsal bone at the base of all 5 toes. Along the way, it has the job of supporting your arch. With every step you take, it helps absorb impact.
The plantar fascia has a big job. And when it gets tired and aggravated, you’ll know very quickly. Your heel hurts like crazy, especially when you first step out of bed in the morning. The pain may travel up into your arch as well.
Heel pain is tricky. It can last for many months. That’s why it’s important to devise a strategy for conquering it quickly. The first step is to get an expert diagnosis from Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Dan Phan, or Dr. Joseph Saka. Once we confirm a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, these are some of the additional strategies we might recommend to beat it:
Rest - stop any activity that exacerbates pain.
Choose your shoes carefully - wear comfortable, supportive, cushioned shoes such as athletic trainers. Avoid flip-flops, which can cause further strain.
Stretching exercises such as toe raises, standing calf stretches, and massaging the bottom of your foot with a tennis ball or rolling pin.
Massage and ice - roll your foot on a frozen water bottle or juice can.
Splints that you wear at night to prevent the plantar fascia from tightening.
Custom orthotics to relieve pressure.
Oral anti-inflammatory medications - these may be over-the-counter, such as ibuprofen, or prescription strength.
Steroid injections to reduce inflammation if oral meds aren’t helping
Foot surgery isn’t common but can be a last-resort treatment in the worst of cases.
Monmouth County residents can feel confident turning to our team of board-certified podiatrists for expert advice on heel pain. Call us for an appointment in Jackson or Howell, New Jersey at (732) 905-1110 or contact us online.