Your Heel Pain May Be Plantar Fasciitis or Another Condition

Heel pain is an extremely common condition and has many possible causes, including stress fractures, arthritis, pinched nerves, cysts or bursitis, tendonitis and most often, plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes becomes inflamed near its attachment to the underside of the heel bone. This inflammation causes pain on the bottom of the heel that usually is most intense with initial pressure on the foot after periods of rest or sitting. 

You may be prone to developing this painful condition if the mechanics of your feet aren’t ideal, such as flat feet or excessively high arches, or if you have poor alignment in your feet that causes you to walk on the inner or outer edges of your feet. Overweight individuals may be more likely to develop plantar fasciitis and it can occur from spending hours on the feet in shoes that offer little or no support.

Treatment options for plantar fasciitis included an effective stretching regimen, icing, footwear modifications, anti-inflammatory medications and weight reduction to lessen the stress creating more stretching of the ligament.  More severe cases may be treated with custom orthotic devices, the use of a walking cast, night splints and physical therapy. Although most pain improves with conservative care, about 5% of cases can be resistant to care and can be treated with out patient surgery.