Heel and arch pain is the most common complaint we hear from patients every day. It affects about 2 million Americans per year and as much as 10% of the population experience some type of heel pain in their lifetime. It's also the most common injury in runners.
Whether you are young or old, male or female, thin or heavy, active or sedentary, have a flat or high arched foot type, you are at risk for heel pain. The most common cause of these symptoms is from plantar fasciitis. This usually presents as a burning, aching or stabbing type pain experienced the first few steps of the day and after sitting or driving. Pain can range from mild discomfort to a debilitating condition.
The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot and supports your arch. Micro-tears develop in the plantar fascia over time resulting in pain and inflammation. As the pathology progresses it becomes a chronic, degenerative condition which the body has a difficult time healing.
Other Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain can also be caused by any of the factors listed below:
- Stress Fractures
- Direct Trauma
- Nerve Entrapments
- Heel Spurs
- Growth Plate Injuries (in children)
Patients who suffer from heel pain often walk abnormally, or compensate, for the discomfort, and end up with other injuries in their feet, knees, hips and back.
At The Center for Podiatric Medicine, our goal is to not only treat your pain but to properly diagnose the root cause of your symptoms and tailor an individual treatment plan for long-term improvement. We will evaluate your foot structure, biomechanics, shoes, lifestyle, activity level, and goals. In office x-rays and diagnostic ultrasound are often utilized to aid in our diagnosis. Sometimes advanced imaging such as an MRI or CT scan is also indicated.
Some of the initial treatments we incorporate include stretching, taping, oral and topical medications, activity modifications, shoe changes, immobilization, and cortisone injections. We may also suggest Orthotics, night splints, and physical therapy.
If your condition has become chronic we offer the latest treatments in Regenerative Medicine, including PRP injections, Shockwave Therapy (EPAT), and the newest, cutting-edge amniotic membrane injections. Surgery may be indicated only as a last resort if all conservative treatment fails.
Are you interested in getting treatment for your chronic heel pain?
Call any of our conveniently located, Chicagoland area offices today to schedule an appointment!