The Most Common Cause of Heel Pain

Does the following sound like you?

You wake up in the morning, ready to start the day – except not fully. You have to build up the courage to get your feet out of bed and onto the floor, because you know as soon you do, you’re going to get hit with a sharp jolt of heel pain that leaves you hobbling about for the next minute or two. In fact, every time you rest your feet for a long period of time, you’ve come to expect that stabbing sensation once you start moving again.

Morning heel pain, or pain after a long period of sitting or inactivity, is a classic sign of plantar fasciitis. 

Plantar fasciitis is the most frequent diagnosis we and other podiatrists see when heel pain is in the picture. However, the good news is that it’s often very responsive to conservative treatment. Most cases can be significantly improved or eliminated within a few months without a need for surgical intervention.

plantar fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a thick, strong band of tissue that runs beneath the foot. It attaches to the heel bone and runs up to the base of the toes, helping to form the arch along the way. As you move, the plantar fascia flexes, storing and releasing energy to help you along.

When the plantar fascia becomes overstressed or strained, however, it can develop tiny tears and become aggravated. This typically results in pain felt in the bottom of the foot, toward the heel. 

Why does plantar fasciitis tend to hurt more following sleep or long periods of inactivity? During those times, the plantar fascia shortens and tries to recover while it is at rest. As soon as you put weight on it again, it is forced to stretch once more, re-aggravating the tissue. Once the band “warms up” again, however, the pain tends to recede.

You may also experience heel pain at other times with plantar fasciitis. This typically comes after activity, and not during it as is more common with Achilles tendinitis.

plantar fasciitis

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Perhaps the most important step in getting rid of plantar fasciitis is identifying the factors that are causing it. Several possibilities exist, and not identifying or treating them properly can lead to a disappointing lack of results.

Possible influences can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Improper footwear
  • A structural abnormality (e.g. flat feet, high arches) that causes too much weight to be shifted to the plantar fascia
  • Overuse – either pushing your body too hard all at once, or repeatedly over a long period of time without enough opportunity for rest and recovery

When you come to see us for any type of heel pain, we take the time to fully evaluate your condition and talk with you about how it’s affecting your life. Once we have all the information we need in hand, we can make an ideal treatment recommendation that will best suit your needs.

For plantar fasciitis, potential components of a treatment plan may include:

  • Simple rest
  • Changes to footwear and/or exercise routines
  • Stretches and exercises meant to condition the plantar fascia and connecting elements
  • The use of custom orthotics to properly redistribute forces over the feet
  • Night splints to hold the plantar fascia in a stretched position overnight, reducing morning pain
  • Advanced treatments such as MLS laser therapy to accelerate healing of the plantar fascia

Surgery is only ever a necessity in very rare circumstances when conservative treatments have not helped. If it does happen to become a consideration, we will gladly discuss your potential options with you.

Make Plantar Fasciitis a Thing of the Past

Plantar fasciitis and other forms of heel pain rarely go away on their own. Call our Dearborn office at (313) 582-6222 to schedule an appointment with us. If you prefer to consult with us remotely, please don’t hesitate to consider our virtual check-in option as well.

GET IN TOUCH

ADDRESS

7243 Chase Rd.
Dearborn, MI 48126

PHONE

(313) 582-6222

HOURS

Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm

Contact

© Michigan Foot & Ankle Specialists. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy

Web Design by CP Solutions. Marketed by VMD Services.