Heel pain can be caused by a few different injuries but is most often caused by a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is when the ligament along the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. This ligament is primarily responsible for supporting the foot. The plantar fascia runs all the way from the ball of the foot to the heel bone.
Heel Pain in Runners is Different
For runners this condition can be much more serious than an average person. Many people suffer from heel pain, but runners put excess strain and pressure, and stress on an already inflamed ligament. Once the ligament is stressed to capacity, the tendon will begin to tear off the bone. Bleeding and scar tissue will occur in the heel as the foot tries to mend itself.
Treating Heel Pain is Mostly a Pain Free Experience Requiring Conservative Treatment
A podiatrist will likely recommend orthotics. Orthotics are shoe inserts that will support the foot as well as the healing ligament. In addition, proper shoes are a MUST! Runners, like all other athletes need to have proper, functioning equipment...namely good running shoes.
Other treatment will include physical therapy, stretching techniques, rest and icing and possible injections. Our office also offer conservative measures such as Cryotherapy, Shock Wave Therapy, and Laser. These are great options for athletes and runners because they are minimally invasive and require little to no down time. Our doctors will create a treatment plan based on the patient's individual needs and lifestyle.
For those with severe damage, although rare, may require surgery. Runners with heel pain need to take their injury seriously, without proper treatment the condition will get worse requiring more serious treatment.