A common cause of heel pain is a condition called plantar fasciitis, which may be referred to as heel spur syndrome if a spur is detected. There are several possible causes for heel pain, including stress fractures, tendinitis, arthritis, nerve irritation, or in some cases a cyst, so it’s essential to have the cause of heel pain diagnosed by a specialist foot and ankle surgeon. Podiatrist Christopher O. Cook, DPM, FACFAS, at the San Juan Foot and Ankle Center, with offices in Montrose and Delta, Colorado, have extensive specialist experience in treating a range of foot and ankle conditions including plantar fasciitis; so if foot pain is causing you problems, call the office today or book an appointment online.
There’s a band of tissue called the plantar fascia that extends from heel to toe and supports the foot’s arch. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia is irritated and becomes inflamed, causing heel pain.
One of the leading causes is faulty foot structure, for example having flat feet or high arches; the other chief cause is wearing shoes that don’t support your feet, particularly on hard, flat surfaces, or if your job involves being on your feet all day. Being overweight and overusing your feet may also be contributing factors.
The key symptom of plantar fasciitis is the pain on the bottom of the heel that may extend into the foot’s arch, sometimes accompanied by swelling. Patients frequently experience the most severe pain on first arising in the morning or after being seated for a while, but it often subsides after a couple of minutes walking. In some patients, the pain returns after a period of weight bearing, making walking any distance quite a challenge.
When you come for an appointment at the San Juan Foot and Ankle Center in Montrose, your doctor talks to you about your medical history and examines your affected foot. This exam enables your doctor to isolate the probable cause of your heel pain, which can then be confirmed using X-rays or other diagnostic imaging techniques. Occasionally patients with heel pain have heel spurs, but these aren’t usually the cause of the pain.
There are several simple methods for treating plantar fasciitis yourself at home:
If these methods aren’t helping reduce your heel pain, make an appointment to see a specialist foot and ankle surgeon for additional treatments, which may include one or more of the following:
Most patients respond well to these nonsurgical treatments for plantar fasciitis, but in a small number of cases where treatment fails to provide relief even after several months, your surgeon may want to discuss surgical options to resolve your heel pain.
Dr. Cook at the San Juan Foot and Ankle Center in Montrose has considerable experience and expertise in treating patients with plantar fasciitis. Call the center today, or book an appointment online.