Chronic heel pain can have many causes but is often due to an inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes. When inflamed due to overuse or stress, the pain can be chronic, disabling, and excruciating.
You may notice your heel pain is at its worst first thing in the morning when you step out of bed or when you get up after a long period of sitting. Heel pain may reduce during activity only to worsen once you slow down.
Other possible causes of heel pain include stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and peripheral neuropathy. Dr. Dozier thoroughly evaluates your symptoms and foot structure to form an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Heel pain often results from overuse. Runners who excessively pronate (or turn their foot outward) are at particular risk.
A smart way to avoid plantar fasciitis is to be fitted for running and walking shoes that provide your arch with adequate stability and prevent undue pressure on the ligament. Dr. Dozier can help you select the proper footwear to prevent plantar fasciitis and heel pain.
Heel pain can also result from a sudden increase in daily activity, a change in footwear, or being overweight or obese. Shoes like flip-flops and flat sandals aggravate heel pain. Runners who add a lot of miles, speed, or hill work suddenly are at risk for heel pain as well.
It’s important to make an appointment at Premier Podiatry, INC, at the first sign of symptoms to prevent heel pain from becoming chronic. Dr. Dozier usually starts to treat your heel pain using conservative treatment. Custom orthotics, shoe changes, and rest can effectively reduce the inflammation causing your heel pain.
If you put off seeking treatment for six months or longer, the inflammation has time to cause more serious problems. This can extend your treatment time. You may even end up with chronic heel pain resistant to all treatments.
Some people require more aggressive treatments like nerve decompression in the inflamed fascia or extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). ESWT breaks down heel inflammation and scar tissue.
To schedule an appointment for heel pain with Premier Podiatry, INC, call the office in Bethlehem, Georgia, or book online today.