Plantar Fasciitis is the Most Common Cause Heel Pain
It is the inflammation of a band of tissue similar to a ligament on the bottom of the foot which starts on the heel and extends out to the ball of the foot. The fascia becomes irritated, inflamed and thickened.
Symptoms & Causes
Typically pain occurs on the several first steps, whether it is getting out of bed first thing in the morning or getting up from a seat after a period of rest. Most often the pain is in the heel and may extend out into the arch. The pain may be associated with increased activity, weight gain, short Achilles tendon, overpronation (with high arches or flat feet) or caused by an acute injury. It is commonly seen when working long hours on your feet or poorly supported shoe gear. Another major factor is a tight Achilles tendon which attaches to the heel bone and has fibers that insert and connect to the bottom of the foot with the plantar fascia.
The most important treatment will be daily stretching, ice massage and supportive equipment (shoes, heel cups or orthotics). Avoid going barefoot and decreasing activity may be necessary until the pain resolves. Many people have found yoga to be helpful to relieve heel pain and occasionally completely cure them.
Other treatments which are commonly used include NSAIDS, injections, custom orthotics, removable walker, night splints, physical therapy and surgery. It is important to remember that the pain may strike again in the future. Returning to the basics will be the mainstay of conservative care, but occasionally surgical intervention may be indicated when all conservative treatment has been exhausted.
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