If you live around New York, odds are you’re using your feet quite a bit. And if every morning your heels howl out in pain as soon as you set them on the floor, that’s not great for your walking situation.
When you dread getting your heels out of bed in the morning, or starting to move around after a long period of inactivity, you might just have plantar fasciitis.
The good news is that plantar fasciitis can often be treated easily without a need for surgery. The key is in determining the factors contributing to your heel pain.
What is Causing My Plantar Fasciitis?
To understand the causes of plantar fasciitis, you must know what the plantar fascia does.
The plantar fascia is a band of tough, thick tissue that runs from the base of the toes to the heel bone. It helps form the arch of your foot, as well as stores and expends energy to help you propel yourself when you move.
It’s a very useful part of your foot and, because of that, gets a lot of use.
The plantar fascia is normally very adept at its job and able to take on great amounts of force. But, just like any other part of a living system, it can’t take an excessive amount of stress. If too much force is applied to the plantar fascia at once, or too much stress is kept up against it repetitively, it may acquire many small tears and become inflamed. That causes the pain.
Runners commonly suffer from plantar fasciitis if they up their running game faster than their bodies have time to adjust to. Even if you’re not as active, however, there are other ways to strain your plantar fascia. Jobs that require a lot of stooping or squatting can do so. You may even have an abnormal foot structure that is placing too much stress on the area when you are simply standing and bearing weight.
The pain of plantar fasciitis is most often felt near the bottom of the heel bone, although it can radiate toward the middle of the arch as well.
Treating Your Heel Pain
Treating the heel pain itself is one thing, but not addressing the root of the damage will make it more likely to come back. If you have tried one or two store-bought remedies only to not have them work, this is likely the reason.
Whenever you have heel pain that lasts for more than a few days, it’s time to give Brook Valley Podiatry a call. We will provide expert diagnosis and suggest the right treatments to fit your specific needs.
If the cause is plantar fasciitis, treatment suggestions might include one or more of the following:
- A change in shoes, or a prescription of custom orthotics to provide proper distribution of weight and pressure across the feet.
- A stretching program to reduce tension on the plantar fascia.
- Night braces to keep the plantar fascia flexed at night, resulting in less pain in the morning.
- Advanced treatments such as ultrasound or laser therapy to reduce pain and encourage accelerated healing.
Only in very rare cases might surgery be considered, and only if conservative methods don’t work.
Help for Your Heel Pain
At Brook Valley Podiatry, Dr. Stuart Birnbaum treats many patients with morning heel pain. If your heel hurts, we invite you to schedule an appointment at our Spring Valley office by dialing (845) 352-0757. If you prefer, our online contact form can also be used to reach out to us.