If you are a sufferer of heel pain, it may be plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome as it is sometimes called. Heel pain may come from causes like a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis or in rare instances, a cyst. Because heel pain can be from a variety of causes, it’s important to see your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

Running Foot Pain

What is plantar fasciitis? There are a few symptoms that can be:

• Pain on the bottom of the heel

• Pain that gets worse when you wake up and move around

• Pain that increases over a period of time

Sufferers also complain that pain gets worse in the morning or after they have been sitting from long periods of time. Once they are up and walking around, pain tends to lessen.

Plantar Fasciitis is most often blamed on the faulty structure of our feet and is most often found in people who have problems with arches – either with flat feet or high arches. It can also be blamed on not wearing supportive shoes when you spend a lot of time on hard, flat surfaces and spend long hours on your feet. Obesity can also contribute to plantar fasciitis.

Diagnosing Heel Pain

Before your podiatrist can diagnose you with plantar fasciitis, he or she will first need to take a complete medical history and then, of course, examine your foot. You may need to undergo a series of x-rays, a bone scan or an MRI as well. This process will allow other problems – such as heel spurs – to be ruled out.

Treatment for Heel Pain

If it is determined that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, treatment will likely be at home. Most sufferers can be treated with non-surgical methods, however if you continue to suffer after all other treatment options have been attempted, you may need to resort to surgical treatment.

Regardless of the type of treatment you ultimately need, plantar fasciitis can continue to be a problem if the underlying causes remain. If you are overweight, you need to reach and maintain an ideal weight. Wear supportive shoes if you are on your feet for long periods of time or consider using orthotic devices. Your best bet is to talk your options over with your podiatrist to keep your suffering at a minimum.

Brad Schaeffer, D.P.M.
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Dr. Brad Schaeffer is an expert in foot and ankle pain, treatment and surgery. Learn more about our doctor.
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