By Bryan M. Sheehan, DPM
April 30, 2014
Category: Podiatry Service
Understanding Your Available Options for Treating Heel Pain
With 26 bones in the human foot, the heel is the largest and is designed to provide a rigid support for the weight of the body, but it can also cause you immense pain. While walking or running, your heel absorbs the impact of the foot when it hits the ground, and springs us forward into our next stride. With so much support resting on your heel, it is vulnerable to damage, and ultimately pain. When pain is exhibited, our Bentonville, AR foot doctor can help eliminate and prevent further pain in your heel.
Many treatment options do exist for the relief of your heel pain, including rest, stretching, strengthening, change of shoes, arch supports, orthotics, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory agents, cortisone/steroid injection, and even surgery for extreme, chronic cases. Our podiatrist in Bentonville can help relieve your heel pain, allowing you to perform your daily tasks without interruption from disabling pain.
What is Causing My Heel Pain?
Heel pain is the most common causes of pain on the bottom of the heel with approximately two million patients being treated for this painful condition every year. It occurs when the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot becomes irritated and inflamed. The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that lies directly beneath the skin on the bottom of your foot and connects the heel to the front of your foot, and supports the arch.
Designed to absorb the high stresses and strains we place on our feet, the plantar fascia sometimes tears or becomes damaged due to too much pressure. The body’s natural response to injury is inflammation, which results in the heel pain and stiffness of plantar fasciitis. In most cases, plantar fasciitis develops without a specific, identifiable reason. There are, however, many factors that can make you more prone to the condition:
- Tighter calf muscles that make it difficult to flex your foot and bring your toes up toward your shin.
- Very high arch
- Repetitive impact activity
- New or increased activity
Treat Heel Pain With Custom Orthotics
In order to treat your heel pain in Bentonville, Dr. Bryan Sheehan might recommend wearing proper shoes and orthotics as a conservative treatment method. Orthotics refers to any device inserted into a shoe, ranging from felt pads to custom-made shoe inserts that correct an abnormal or irregular, walking pattern. Also referred to as arch supports, orthotics allows people to stand, walk, and run more efficiently and comfortably.
As you step and your heel strikes the grown, a significant amount of tension is placed on the fascia, which causes tiny tears in the tissue. Orthotics help to reduce the tension on the plantar fascia, coming in many shapes, sizes and materials to better meet each individual’s needs.
If you are experiencing pain in your heel it is important to visit us at Ankle Foot Centers of Mid-America for further diagnosis and treatment. From at-home care to more extreme treatment options, such as surgery, our Bentonville podiatrist can help eliminate your heel pain to help you remain active.