Patients walk into Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland (it’s true, sometimes they’re hobbling) with all sorts of foot problems. However, one of their most common complaints is heel pain. It can seem to come on suddenly and fiercely or it can feel like a dull ache that just won’t go away. By the time the person’s made it to our Cuyahoga County podiatry office, the pain has really begun to interfere with their daily lives.
This kind of heel pain is called plantar fasciitis. The pain stems from an inflamed plantar fascia – that’s the thick ligament located within the sole of your foot. The plantar fascia inserts into your heel bone and runs along the bottom of your foot, supporting your arch along the way. When it’s inflamed, walking can become very painful. Exercise may be impossible.
Causes of inflammation
With plantar fasciitis, the normal soft tissue of the plantar fascia transforms into tissue that swells and burns. Here are some reasons why:
- standing for long periods of time
- a sudden increase in your level of activity
- being overweight – more pounds means more pressure on the plantar fascia
- old, worn-out shoes may no longer offer enough support
- heel spurs – bone growths that aggravate soft tissue
- some combination of these reasons.
Our podiatrists can help
If you think you may have plantar fasciitis, you’d be wise to make an appointment right away with Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann. As with most conditions of the foot, the sooner you seek treatment, the easier and faster your symptoms will improve. Fortunately, there are many effective options, including
- comfortable shoes to provide needed support
- custom orthotic inserts to relieve pressure and fix any biomechanical issues that may be contributing to the problem
- exercises that gently stretch the plantar fascia
- icing the foot
- medications to soothe the inflammation.
For more information about all your options for managing heel pain, visit us at our beautiful, modern office in Solon, Ohio. Call (440) 903-1041 or contact us online.