Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis
Get Relief From Your Painful Condition
Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Heel pain may also be due to other causes, such as a stress fracture, tendinitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or, rarely, a cyst. Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. Dr. Milkie can distinguish between all the possibilities and determine the underlying source of your heel pain in Wauwatosa, WI.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. In this condition, the fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to the faulty structure of the foot. For example, people who have problems with their arches, either overly flat feet or high-arched feet, are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when one’s job requires long hours on the feet. Obesity may also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Pain on the bottom of the heel
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- Pain that is usually worse upon arising
- Pain that increases over a period of months
People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they’ve been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking, the pain decreases because walking stretches the fascia. For some people, the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet.
Diagnosis for Plantar Fasciitis
To arrive at a diagnosis, Dr. Milkie will obtain your medical history and examine your foot. Throughout this process, he will rule out all the possible causes for your heel pain other than plantar fasciitis. In addition, diagnostic imaging studies such as x-rays or other imaging modalities may be used to distinguish the different types of heel pain.
Sometimes heel spurs are found in patients with plantar fasciitis, but these are rarely a source of pain. When they are present, the condition may be diagnosed as plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome.
Nonsurgical Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Because we always take a conservative approach to treatment, nonsurgical treatments for plantar fasciitis include:
- Stretching exercises - Exercises that stretch out the calf muscles help ease pain and assist with recovery.
- Avoid going barefoot - When you walk without shoes, you put undue strain and stress on your plantar fascia.
- Ice - Putting an ice pack on your heel for 20 minutes several times a day helps reduce inflammation. Place a thin towel between the ice and your heel; do not apply ice directly to the skin.
- Limit activities - Cut down on extended physical activities to give your heel a rest.
- Shoe modifications - Wearing supportive shoes that have good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia.
- Medications - Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Padding and strapping - Placing pads in the shoe softens the impact of walking. Strapping helps support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia.
- Orthotics - Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis.
- Injection therapy - In some cases, corticosteroid injections are used to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Removable walking cast - A removable walking cast may be used to keep your foot immobile for a few weeks to allow it to rest and heal.
- Night splint - Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain experienced by some patients.
- Physical therapy - Exercises and other physical therapy measures may be used to help provide relief.
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Contact Us for Effective Treatment for Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis in Wauwatosa, WI
To experience our 5-star-rated podiatric care, schedule your New Patient Consultation today by calling (414) 257-0676. You may also use our convenient online form. Your appointment includes the following:
- Discuss Your Goals
- Complete Examination
- Discover Your Options
- Custom Treatment Plan
- BONUS: Receive a Copy of Dr. Milkie's Book, The Plantar Fasciitis Solution
During your appointment, we will take the time to thoroughly assess your condition and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to helping you live a pain-free life!