Heel pain is one of the most common chief complaints seen in a foot and ankle specialists’ office daily. Its most widespread cause is plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the wide band of tissue called the plantar fascia located deep in the sole of your foot. This band runs from your heel bone towards the ball of the foot. It is a ligament that attaches your heel bone to the bones of the metatarsals. It serves as a supporting structure for the arch of your foot.
The plantar fascia has a huge job supporting the arch of the foot and can commonly become fatigued or injured. This creates inflammation and pain especially with the first step out of bed in the morning or standing after extended periods of rest.
Over time if left untreated it can lead to damage to the architecture of the ligament itself with tearing and chronic inflammation. The tightness of the ligament can also lead to the development of heel spurs. It is important to see a specialist when these symptoms first arise as effective treatment becomes more difficult the longer it has gone neglected.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis is most successful when done in a multimodal approach. This includes a regimen of rest, icing, oral anti-inflammatories, injection therapy, stretching, proper shoe wear, and orthotics.