Here’s what Dallas football player Amari Cooper had to say about his pre-season troubles with heel pain: “Yeah, so, plantar fasciitis, you just got to do a lot of stretching, a lot of treatment, but it’s not a big deal.” Not so fast, cowboy. Plantar fasciitis can be a big deal. Let’s take a closer look at this common type of heel pain.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick ligament on the bottom of your foot. It connects your heel bone to the base of your toes and has the important job of supporting your foot’s arch. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of this large ligament. Running, overtraining in any sport, or even just spending many hours a day on your feet can stress the plantar fascia and cause small tears in the tissue. Heel spurs can also complicate the inflammation.
Why it can be a big deal
First of all, plantar fasciitis can be debilitating. The first few steps after you get out of bed in the morning can cause excruciating pain. Also, if you don’t treat it properly, your heel pain may last for many months.
Podiatrists Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey have to agree with Cooper, though, when he said that plantar fasciitis needs a lot of treatment. And in most cases, one approach isn’t enough. We may recommend a combination of several treatments, including
- Stretching and foam rolling
- Medications – over-the-counter and/or prescription anti-inflammatory pills
- Steroid injections
- A night splint that keeps the plantar fascia from tightening up as you sleep
- New or different shoes
- Shoe inserts or custom orthotics
- Heel surgery – but for the most persistent cases only
The sooner you treat plantar fasciitis, the better. The more icing, stretching, and other treatments you do in combination, the better. If you live in Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, or Geauga County and you’re having trouble getting rid of heel pain, call Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland at (440) 903-1041 for an appointment at our Solon, Ohio podiatry office. You may also contact us online.