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Heel Pain Specialist

Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists

Podiatry & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Bradenton, FL & Sarasota, University Park, FL, & Ellenton, FL

Heel pain is most commonly caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tough band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. The Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists team can help you overcome heel pain due to plantar fasciitis or any other cause. Call the office in Bradenton, University Park, or Ellenton, Florida, today or request your visit online.

Heel Pain Q & A

What causes heel pain?

The plantar fascia is a flat band of tough tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot and supports your arch. If this fascia becomes thickened or inflamed, usually because of overuse or strain, it can cause severe heel pain when you walk or even just stand.

Heel pain isn’t usually caused by heel spurs, which appear in 15-25% of people. Heel spurs don’t usually cause pain symptoms. Many people with plantar fasciitis or other heel pain don’t even have heel spurs.

If you do have a heel spur along with plantar fasciitis, you can usually find relief without having the spur removed. Even if you have a heel spur that’s adding to your pain, plantar fasciitis can usually be cured without removing it.

Who is most at risk of developing heel pain?

Heel pain from plantar fasciitis happens in men and women of all ages but is most common between 40 and 60. Other risk factors include:

  • High arches or flat feet
  • Being overweight or pregnant
  • Overpronation, meaning your feet roll inward too much when you walk or run
  • Poor-fitting shoes, especially flip flops
  • Tight calf muscles or Achilles tendon
  • Jobs that require prolonged standing

Runners often develop plantar fasciitis if they increase their training too quickly, run a lot on hard or uneven surfaces, or focus on running mainly downhill.

What type of heel pain indicates plantar fasciitis?

Most people with plantar fasciitis describe the pain as stabbing, burning, or aching. It’s particularly bad first thing in the morning or after long periods of sitting. The heel pain typically eases during exercise but then gets worse once you stop.

How is heel pain treated?

Conservative at-home treatments for heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis include icing, rest, and stretching. Custom splints that you wear while you sleep can loosen overly tight muscles.

Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help, but they don’t cure the pain and swelling of the ligament. Always wear supportive shoes, and talk to your podiatrist at Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists about how custom-molded orthotics might help support flat feet or a high arch.

If your pain continues despite these conservative treatments, your podiatrist might order an MRI to rule out a tear in or rupture of the plantar fascia. Cortisone injections treat the pain, and participation in physical therapy can fix your gait (the way you walk) so that your plantar fasciitis eases.

Proper treatment can improve your symptoms within a few weeks and offer complete relief within 6-9 months.

If you’re suffering heel pain, call Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists today or use this website to schedule an appointment.