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Doctor showing a foot bone to show where plantar fasciitis happens.

Heel Pain from Plantar Fasciitis and How to Treat It

By Michael Zimmerman, DPM June 17, 2019 Posted in: Orthopedics

Plantar fasciitis or heel pain is generally pain in the bottom, or the plantar side, of the person’s foot. Typically patients have sharp shooting pain, generally worse in the morning or right after walking.

The plantar fascia is a fibrous band on the bottom of your foot that goes from your toes to your heel. A lot of time people have pain in this portion of their heel associated with plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis generally is treated with conservative treatment.

Conservative Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

  1. Stretching
  2. Icing
  3. Appropriate shoe gear
  4. Shoe inserts
  5. Anti-inflammatory medication

When the patient is still having pain in that area, sometimes an injection into the area can also help. If the pain persists and conservative treatment is not working, we may do an MRI or ultrasound of the band. Depending on what that shows, sometimes surgery is indicated. Surgery would potentially be indicated for a thick band that has not been improved with conservative treatment. A lot of times the treatment for that is actually releasing the plantar fascia, similar to a carpal tunnel surgery.

Heel Spur Syndrome

You may have heard plantar fasciitis also referred to as heel spur syndrome.  Through research and time we have learned that the heel spur itself is actually not the cause of the pain, but rather the plantar fascia. That's why an important aspect of the whole treatment plan is stretching and wearing appropriate shoes.

If this is something you've been experiencing and your pain is not getting any better I do recommend seeing a foot and ankle specialist.

Michael Zimmerman, DPM

Michael Zimmerman, DPM is a foot and ankle specialist with CHI Health.

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