Ouch! Why does my heel hurt?

Heel pain is a common condition that’s also known as plantar fasciitis. It is when weight on the heel causes pain and discomfort. There are many different causes. The most common is a biomechanical instability in your feet. This is a condition where the plantar fascia, a ligament in your foot that connects your heel to your toes, gets inflamed at your heel and irritated. The inflammation to the bottom of the foot will cause your heel and even your entire foot to hurt when you first get up to stand or walk. Plantar fasciitis is common in middle-aged people, but it can also occur in people who are on their feet a lot, such as athletes. It can occur in either foot, or even in both.

Bruises can also cause heel pain. If you step on a rock or stone really hard, it could form a bruise. This causes pain and discomfort but will usually go away gradually with rest. Heel spurs are another common cause. If plantar fasciitis continues for a long time, it could cause a heel spur. This occurs when the small fibers of the plantar fascia tear away from the heel after it has become inflamed. It forms where the fascia tissue meets the heel band. You would need an X-ray taken to diagnose it. The treatment is mostly the same as plantar fasciitis.

There are many ways you can treat plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. One way is simply to rest your feet. Another way is to use ice. Try freezing a water bottle and then roll it along the bottom of the foot while sitting. Do not walk barefoot, it could make you pain worse. Treatments for plantar fasciitis are meant to accomplish a few things. One is to decrease inflammation where the fascia attaches to the heel. This may allow some of the smallest tears in the fascia to heal. Decreasing the inflammation will decrease the pain you are having and allow you to resume your daily activities. Approximately 90% of all patients with plantar fasciitis will get better with treatment. Some of the treatment options, in addition to rest and ice, are oral anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections and custom orthotics.

Central Jersey Foot & Ankle Care is conveniently located in Manalapan. Our office has the latest diagnostic equipment for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. X-rays are taken right in the office. If needed a diagnostic ultrasound can be performed. With daytime and evening hours, we are able to accommodate all patients. Set up an appointment with Dr. Alan Bass by calling (732) 866-4411 or by visiting us online.